American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Either of two aquatic, insectivorous, molelike mammals, Desmana moschata of eastern Europe and western Asia or Galemys pyrenaicus of southwest Europe, having dense brownish fur, a long snout, and a flattened scaly tail.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A musk-shrew or musk-rat: the name of two distinct species of aquatic insectivorous mammals of the genus Myogale or Galemys, constituting the subfamily Myogalinæ (which see). The Muscovitic desman, M. moschata or muscovitica, is common on the Volga and the Don; it is about 8 inches long, swims and dives with great facility, and lives in holes in the banks. The Pyrenean desman, M. pyrenaica, is a smaller species with a relatively longer tail, found in southwestern Europe.
- n. [capitalized]
- n. A generic name of the musk-shrews.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) An amphibious, insectivorous mammal found in Russia (Myogale moschata). It is allied to the moles, but is called
muskratby some English writers.
- From French desman, German Desman, from Swedish desmanråtta ("muskrat"), from desman ("musk"). (Wiktionary)
- Short for Swedish desmanråtta, muskrat : desman, musk (from Middle Low German desem, from Medieval Latin bisamum, of Semitic origin; see bśm in Semitic roots) + råtta, rat (akin to Old English ræt). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A desman essentially is one of two species of aquatic moles Russian Desmana moschata, or Pyrenean, Galemys pyrenaicus, though they look sort of like a cross between an otter, a mole and Jimmy Durante.”
“The ecoregion hosts other rare and threatened small mammals, such as the snow vole (Microtus nivalis), the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus), and the endemic Cantabrian hare (Lepus castroviejoi).”
“The insectivorous Pyrenean desman Galemys pyrenaicus, occurs in lowland elevation.”
“I like to think that it looked like a giant desman, but that only helps if you know what a desman is.”
“Also present are wild boar (Sus scrofa), chamois (Rupicapra parva), red deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and seldom seen, the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus).”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘desman’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
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Words gathered while reading Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov.
Looking for tweets for desman.