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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for panda
  • These bamboo-covered slopes are home to the panda, its last refuge from a rapidly encroaching world.
  • Although the killing of a panda or an elephant was a capital offense until last year.
  • Discusses the endangered status of the giant panda and efforts to get captive pandas to breed and reproduce.
  • To this day, scientists have to perform grotesque procedures to keep the panda population from collapsing into oblivion.
  • Named for its red fur, the red panda is about the size of a raccoon and sports a long curled tail.
  • panda gets so worked up that he breaks into a dance.
  • panda monitoring and logging processes write into the databases on this server.
  • The giant panda has large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo.
  • Giant panda cubs have also been reportedly eaten by brown bears.
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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