panda

[pan-duh]
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:
1825–35; < French (Cuvier), a name for the lesser panda, perhaps < a Tibeto-Burman language of the southeastern Himalayas

panda, pander.
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World English Dictionary
panda (ˈpændə)
 
n
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
 
[C19: via French from a native Nepalese word]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

panda
1835, from Fr., apparently from Nepalese name of a raccoon-like mammal (lesser panda) found there. First reference to the Giant Panda is from 1901; since its discovers in 1869 by Fr. 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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Example sentences
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.
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