from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various Old World carnivorous mammals of the genus Herpestes and related genera, having a slender agile body and a long tail and noted for the ability to seize and kill venomous snakes.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A species of ichneumon (Herpestes griseus), native of India. Applied also to other allied species, as the African banded mongoose (Crossarchus fasciatus).
- n. A Madagascan lemur (Lemur mongos).
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. agile grizzled Old World viverrine; preys on snakes and rodents
Is it what they call the mongoose, or monsoon, or something?
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.
Frankly, I thought the mongoose was a made up mythical creature… until I saw one.
Only problem is that the mongoose is a diurnal (daytime) hunter, and rats are active at night (nocturnal).
However, I think I would have used to word mongoose, as that was how I described what we were talking about.
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.
“Why, a mongoose is a little animal we use for killing snakes.”
The mongoose is a small beast of prey of the Viverridæ family.
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.
"Why, a mongoose is a little animal we use for killing snakes."