from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An aquatic or semi-aquatic insectivore of the mole family, found in Europe.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An amphibious, insectivorous mammal found in Russia (Myogale moschata). It is allied to the moles, but is called muskrat by some English writers.
from The 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).
- n. [capitalized]
- n. A generic name of the musk-shrews.
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)
From French desman, German Desman, from Swedish desmanråtta ("muskrat"), from desman ("musk"). (Wiktionary)