American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A small, burrowing, carnivorous mammal (Suricata suricatta) of southern Africa, related to the mongoose and having grayish fur and a long tail, which it uses for balance when it stands on its hind legs. Also called meerkat, sticktail.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An animal of the genus Suricata, S. zenik or S. tetradactyla, inhabiting South Africa, where it is known to the Dutch colonists as the meerkat; a zenick. It is yellowish-brown with dark bands across the back, the head whitish with black orbits and ears, the tail tipped with black. The fore claws are strong, enabling the animal to burrow well, and its habits are somewhat nocturnal. It is sometimes tamed, and is useful in destroying vermin.
- n. burrowing diurnal meerkat of southern Africa; often kept as a pet
- French, from obsolete Dutch surikat, macaque, probably of South African origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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