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mongoose

[mong-goos, mon-] /ˈmɒŋˌgus, ˈmɒn-/
noun, plural mongooses.
1.
a slender, ferretlike carnivore, Herpestes edwardsi, of India, that feeds on rodents, birds, and eggs, noted especially for its ability to kill cobras and other venomous snakes.
2.
any of several other animals of this genus or related genera.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < Marathi mangūs, variant of muṅgūs
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mongoose
  • Top males gain high reproductive success by guarding more successful females in a cooperatively breeding mongoose.
  • It's certainly happened in the presence of a mongoose and baboon, but neither mammal reacted.
  • Meerkats are the only members of the mongoose family without a bushy tail.
  • Donkeys, goats, and mongoose were introduced by humans.
British Dictionary definitions for mongoose

mongoose

/ˈmɒŋˌɡuːs/
noun (pl) -gooses
1.
any small predatory viverrine mammal of the genus Herpestes and related genera, occurring in Africa and from S Europe to SE Asia, typically having a long tail and brindled coat
Word Origin
C17: from Marathi mangūs, of Dravidian origin
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 mongoose
n.

"snake-killing ichneumon of India," 1690s, perhaps via Portuguese, from an Indic language (cf. Mahrathi mangus "mongoose"), probably ultimately from Dravidian (cf. Telugu mangisu, Kanarese mungisi, Tamil mangus). The form of the English word altered by folk-etymology.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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