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[meer-kat] /ˈmɪər kæt/
Origin of meerkat
Dutch: literally, monkey, apparently = meer see (see mere2) + kat cat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for meerkat
  • Guests can also visit the on-site children's zoo, a region outfitted with an insect zoo, a family farm and a meerkat exhibit.
  • In a meerkat family, everyone pitches in to help raise the little ones.
  • Field technicians stay in close contact with meerkat groups throughout the day and observe behavior through such habituation.
British Dictionary definitions for meerkat


any of several South African mongooses, esp Suricata suricatta (slender-tailed meerkat or suricate), which has a lemur-like face and four-toed feet
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch: sea-cat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for meerkat

late 15c., "monkey," from Dutch meerkat "monkey" (related to Old High German mericazza), apparently from meer "lake" + kat "cat." But cf. Hindi markat, Sanskrit markata "ape," which might serve as a source of a Teutonic folk-etymology, even though the word was in Germanic before any known direct contact with India. First applied to the small South African mammals in 1801.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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