from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various carnivorous catlike mammals of the family Viverridae of Africa and Asia, having anal scent glands that secrete a fluid with a musky odor. Also called civet cat.
  • n. The thick yellowish musky fluid secreted by one of these mammals, used in the manufacture of perfumes.
  • n. The fur of one of these mammals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A carnivorous catlike animal that produces a musky secretion. It is two to three feet long, with black bands and spots on the body and tail.
  • n. The musky perfume produced by the animal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A substance, of the consistence of butter or honey, taken from glands in the anal pouch of the civet (Viverra civetta). It is of clear yellowish or brownish color, of a strong, musky odor, offensive when undiluted, but agreeable when a small portion is mixed with another substance. It is used as a perfume.
  • n. The animal that produces civet (Viverra civetta); -- called also civet cat. It is carnivorous, from two to three feet long, and of a brownish gray color, with transverse black bands and spots on the body and tail. It is a native of northern Africa and of Asia. The name is also applied to other species.
  • transitive v. To scent or perfume with civet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To scent with civet; perfume.
  • n. The secretion of the anal glands of the civet-cats, used in perfumery, etc.
  • n. The civet-cat.
  • n. plural The animals of the genus Viverra or family Viverridæ.
  • n. A stew, usually of rabbit or hare, flavored with onion, cives, garlic, or the like.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. cat-like mammal typically secreting musk used in perfumes


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French civette, from Old French, from Catalan civetta, from Medieval Latin zibethus, from Arabic zabād, civet perfume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French civette, from Arabic زباد.


  • It certainly seems to have misled people into thinking that - like the animal photographed on Borneo - Hose's civet is reddish.

    That’s no mystery carnivore (part II)… it’s a giant squirrel!

  • However, in Vietnamese "chon" appears to be ambiguous - "weasel" or "civet" - and some descriptions mention caphe cut chon ( "fox-dung coffee", to confuse the biology) as being processed by the civet.

    The secret of Kopi Luwak

  • In the Philippines it is called civet coffee or kape alamid (alamid is another name for civet).

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • In Viet Nam, the the Vietnamese call the civet fox and their civet coffee is called

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • On a lighter note, an article about fecal bacteria in soda fountains just isn't complete without mentioning a special type of coffee bean that ... well, passes through an exotic variety of Asian cats (called a civet) before becoming your cup o 'joe.

  • A civet is a small to medium sized cat-like creature.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • For the curious, a civet is a small cat-mongoosey kind of critter from Africa that lives in trees, eats roots and berries, and can evidently poop coffee.

    Skippy's List

  • reminder to frontal lobe. kill bill one, super drunkness, and some chick punk rock band called civet add up to number one-ness!

    BSNYC Fridan Fun Quiz!

  • Maybe it's just me, but that mystery animal definately screams "civet".

    That’s no mystery carnivore (part II)… it’s a giant squirrel!

  • Orange blossom can also be an intriguing autumnal note when paired with dangerous notes such as civet and narcissus – as in Narcisse Noir by Caron.

    Archive 2006-09-01


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  • Usage/historical note in comment on ambergris.

    October 9, 2017

  • Compare zibet.

    June 27, 2017

  • "When leaving the bath, they anoint the head with ajonjoli _i. e._, oil of sesame mixed with civet -- of which, as we shall later show, there is great abundance in those regions."

    The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 12 of 55 1601-1604 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Related in Contemporaneous Books and Manuscripts, Showing the Political, Economic, Commercial and Religious Conditions of Those Islands from Their Earliest Relations with European Nations to the Close of the Nineteenth Century (one of the examples on ajonjoli).

    August 31, 2010

  • Illustration here.

    August 26, 2008

  • See also crappuccino, or crappucino, because I can never spell it right and I'm too lazy to check. I think the first spelling is "correct," but all the comments/conversations dealing with palm civets are on crappucino.

    August 25, 2008