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hyena

[hahy-ee-nuh] /haɪˈi nə/
noun
1.
a doglike carnivore of the family Hyaenidae, of Africa, southwestern Asia, and south central Asia, having a coarse coat, a sloping back, and large teeth and feeding chiefly on carrion, often in packs.
Also, hyaena.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English hiena < Medieval Latin hyēna, Latin hyaena < Greek hýaina, equivalent to hy- (stem of hŷs) hog + -aina feminine suffix; replacing Middle English hyane, hyene < Middle French hiene < Latin
Related forms
hyenic, hyenine
[hahy-ee-nahyn, -nin] /haɪˈi naɪn, -nɪn/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for hyena
  • The highlight of the trip would have to be getting up close and personal w the hyena.
British Dictionary definitions for hyena

hyena

/haɪˈiːnə/
noun
1.
any of several long-legged carnivorous doglike mammals of the genera Hyaena and Crocuta, such as C. crocuta (spotted or laughing hyena), of Africa and S Asia: family Hyaenidae, order Carnivora (carnivores) See also strandwolf
Derived Forms
hyenic, hyaenic, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin hyaena, from Greek huaina, from hus hog
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hyena
n.

mid-14c., from Old French hiene, from Latin hyaena, from Greek hyaina "swine" (fem.), from hys "pig" + fem. suffix -aina. So called for its bristles. Applied to cruel, treacherous, and greedy persons since at least 1670s. Adjectival forms that have been attempted in English include hyenaish, hyenaesque, hyenic, hyenine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
10
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