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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  • 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