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meerkat

[meer-kat] /ˈmɪər kæt/
noun
1.
Origin
Dutch: literally, monkey, apparently = meer see (see mere2) + kat cat
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

meerkat

/ˈmɪəˌkæt/
noun
1.
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meerkat
n.

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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Encyclopedia Article for meerkat

burrowing member of the mongoose family (Herpestidae), found in southwestern Africa, that is unmistakably recognizable in its upright "sentinel" posture as it watches for predators. The meerkat is slender and has a pointed little face, tiny ears, and black eye patches. Body length is about 29 cm (11 inches), and the smooth, pointed tail is 19 cm long. Colour varies from dark to grizzled light gray or tan, with broad dark bars across the back and a black-tipped tail. Adults weigh less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), with older dominant breeders heavier than subordinates. Easily tamed, the meerkat is sometimes kept as a pet to kill rodents.

Learn more about meerkat with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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