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panda

[pan-duh] /ˈpæn də/
noun
1.
Also called giant panda. a white-and-black, bearlike mammal, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, now rare and restricted to forest areas of central China containing stands of bamboo, on which it mainly subsists: formerly placed with the raccoon family but now classified as a bear subfamily, Ailuropodinae, or as the sole member of a separate family, Ailuropodidae, which diverged from an ancestral bear lineage.
2.
Also called lesser panda. a reddish-brown, raccoonlike mammal, Ailurus fulgens, of mountain forests in the Himalayas and adjacent eastern Asia, subsisting mainly on bamboo and other vegetation, fruits, and insects, and reduced in numbers by collectors: now considered unrelated to the giant panda and usually classified as the sole member of an Old World raccoon subfamily, Ailurinae, which diverged from an ancestral lineage that also gave rise to the New World raccoons.
Origin of panda
1825-1835
1825-35; < French (Cuvier), a name for the lesser panda, perhaps < a Tibeto-Burman language of the southeastern Himalayas
Can be confused
panda, pander.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for panda
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then Bobby liked the panda, and the three of us played out in the barn all day.

    My Friend Bobby Alan Edward Nourse
  • We decided not to tell mommy and daddy about the panda, and kept it for our own secret.

    My Friend Bobby Alan Edward Nourse
  • This is a very curious animal, which, like the panda and the linsang, at first misled naturalists in assigning it a place.

  • I said I want Bobby to hurt you and mommy because you're not nice to me, only Bobby and my panda are nice to me.

    My Friend Bobby Alan Edward Nourse
  • They slew Dingaan, and for many years I was the counsellor of panda, your father.

    Black Heart and White Heart H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for panda

panda

/ˈpændə/
noun
1.
Also called giant panda. a large black-and-white herbivorous bearlike mammal, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, related to the raccoons and inhabiting the high mountain bamboo forests of China: family Procyonidae
2.
lesser panda, red panda, a closely related smaller animal resembling a raccoon, Ailurus fulgens, of the mountain forests of S Asia, having a reddish-brown coat and ringed tail
Word Origin
C19: via French from a native Nepalese word
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 panda
n.

1835, from French, apparently from the Nepalese name of a raccoon-like mammal (lesser panda) found there. First reference to the Giant Panda is from 1901; since its discovery in 1869 by French missionary Armand David (1826-1900) it had been known as parti-colored bear, but the name was changed after the zoological relationship to the red panda was established.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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