from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various carnivorous mammals of the family Herpestidae, native to Asia, Africa, and southern Europe and introduced elsewhere, having a slender agile body and a long tail, and noted for the ability to seize and kill venomous snakes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A species of ichneumon (Herpestes griseus), native of India. Applied also to other allied species, as the African banded mongoose (Crossarchus fasciatus).
  • noun A Madagascan lemur (Lemur mongos).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Carnivores of the family Herpestidae and the similar Malagasy mongooses (Galidiinae), ranging in size from small rats to large cats, including the Indian mongoose famed as a predators of venomous snakes.

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

  • noun agile grizzled Old World viverrine; preys on snakes and rodents


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

[Marathi mangūs, of Dravidian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Portuguese mangus, from Marathi मुंगूस (mumgūsa), from Telugu ముంగిస (muṅgisa).


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  • Is it what they call the mongoose, or monsoon, or something?

    Hilda Wade, a Woman with Tenacity of Purpose Grant Allen 1873

  • That thing about the plural of the word mongoose, before we get to the real stuff, Doug in Connecticut says, "I once asked my father the correct plural of mongoose.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2004 2004

  • Frankly, I thought the mongoose was a made up mythical creature… until I saw one.

    Why did the mongoose cross the road? 2008

  • Only problem is that the mongoose is a diurnal (daytime) hunter, and rats are active at night (nocturnal).

    Steve Steve in Hawai'i - The Panda's Thumb 2005

  • Only problem is that the mongoose is a diurnal (daytime) hunter, and rats are active at night (nocturnal).

    The Panda's Thumb: August 2005 Archives 2005

  • However, I think I would have used to word mongoose, as that was how I described what we were talking about.

    chicagojo Diary Entry chicagojo 2004

  • Now and then the mongoose, useful as a destroyer of snakes and rats, may be caught sight of, with his long coarse fur, running across the road, or hunting along a fence, much in the same way as a weasel shows himself in England, although the mongoose is a good deal larger.

    India and the Indians Edward Fenton Elwin

  • “Why, a mongoose is a little animal we use for killing snakes.”

    Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers Hubbard, Elbert, 1856-1915 1916

  • The mongoose is a small beast of prey of the Viverridæ family.

    From Pole to Pole A Book for Young People Sven Anders Hedin 1908

  • Throughout its range in the western hemisphere, the mongoose is a pest; and the Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture has done well in securing the enactment of a law peremptorily prohibiting the importation of any animals of that species into the United States or any of its colonies.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life Its Extermination and Preservation William Temple Hornaday 1895


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  • The zoo-keeper, having prepared a shipment to another zoo, was stymied when drafting the cover letter. "Enclosed are the two mongeese..." He scratched it out and wrote: "Enclosed are the two mongooses..." He scratched that out too.

    Finally, he wrote: "Enclosed is the mongoose you requested. Also enclosed is the other mongoose you requested."

    January 27, 2008

  • :-)

    January 27, 2008

  • By the reckoning of the mighty Oxford English Dictionary (why yes, we are sleeping together), the plural can be any of mongooses, mongeese, mongoose or mongooze(!!)

    March 26, 2008

  • I vote for mongooze. That's made my day and I only just woke up.

    March 26, 2008