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

  • n. A chiefly nocturnal European carnivorous mammal (Mustela putorius) of the weasel family that ejects a malodorous fluid to mark its territory and ward off enemies. Also called fitch.
  • n. Any of various related mammals of Asia, especially Mustela eversmanni of central Asia.
  • n. See skunk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A weasel-like animal of the genus Mustela, notably the European polecat, Mustela putorius.
  • n. A skunk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small European carnivore of the Weasel family (Putorius fœtidus). Its scent glands secrete a substance of an exceedingly disagreeable odor. Called also fitchet, foulmart, and European ferret.
  • n. The zorilla. The name is also applied to other allied species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fitchew or foulmart, Putorius fœtidus of Europe, of a dark-brown color, with a copious fine pelage much used in furriery and for making artists' brushes. See fitch.
  • n. One of several other quadrupeds, mostly of the family Mustelidæ, which have a strong offensive smell.

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

  • n. dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened
  • n. American musteline mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled; in some classifications put in a separate subfamily Mephitinae


Middle English polcat : possibly Old French poll, poule, fowl, hen; see pullet + Middle English cat, cat; see cat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French pole ("hen") +‎ cat. So named because of its fondness for poultry. (Wiktionary)



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