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spotted hyena

an African hyena, Crocuta crocuta, having a yellowish-gray coat with brown or black spots, noted for its distinctive howl.
Also called laughing hyena.
Origin of spotted hyena
1775-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spotted hyena
Historical Examples
  • The figure below represents the striped, and the other represents the spotted hyena.

  • The grocery man said that he had rather have a spotted hyena, and the boy stole a melon and went away.

    Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa George W. Peck
  • A third species is very distinct from either of the two described—the “spotted hyena” (Hyena crocuta).

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid
  • In a short time we caught sight of a gigantic tiger-wolf, or spotted hyena, sitting under a bush, and growling fiercely at us.

    In the Wilds of Africa W.H.G. Kingston
  • It looks very much like a spotted hyena, and yet it is not really a hyena.

  • The tiger-wolf, as the spotted hyena is also called, is much more dangerous than the other hyenas.

  • In fact, one of the closest imitations of a human laugh is that of the “spotted hyena.”

    The Bush Boys Captain Mayne Reid

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