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[bob-kat] /ˈbɒbˌkæt/
noun, plural bobcats (especially collectively) bobcat.
a North American wildcat, Lynx rufus, ranging from southern Canada to central Mexico, having a brownish coat with black spots.
Also called bay lynx.
Origin of bobcat
An Americanism dating back to 1885-90; bob(tail) + cat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bobcat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bobcat hates dogs about as much as human beings do skunks.

  • And that spiteful bobcat, that took advantage of him; and the man that had tried to kill him.

    The Biography of a Grizzly Ernest Seton-Thompson
  • "bobcat," whispered Clark, in a tone which convinced not even himself.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Then he added: “I thought perhaps a bobcat had stolen your––rabbit.”

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain Edfrid A. Bingham
  • But the bobcat, evidently young and inexperienced, gave chase.

    Wild Animals at Home Ernest Thompson Seton
  • One evening as I was watching, a bobcat chased two beavers into the pond.

    Watched by Wild Animals Enos A. Mills
  • Possibly—Ted remembered that he had his coyote traps—he had caught a bobcat or so.

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
British Dictionary definitions for bobcat


a North American feline mammal, Lynx rufus, closely related to but smaller than the lynx, having reddish-brown fur with dark spots or stripes, tufted ears, and a short tail Also called bay lynx
Word Origin
C19: from bob² (referring to its short tail) + cat1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bobcat

North American lynx, 1873, in a Maine context; so called for its short tail; see bob (n.2) + cat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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