Among carnivorous beasts there is not a more contemptible poltroon than the hyaena, even when wounded.
Temminck, its original describer, placed it in the genus hyaena.
He no longer laughed, he was terrible, he went and came; the fox was changed into a hyaena.
It is only a hyaena, and the hungry fellow has scented a prey.
Vultures of many kinds dispute with lion and hyaena for the carrion of dead ox or mule beside the road of our advance.
The hyaena dared not disobey, and in a few minutes was scalded to death.
Looks to me more like a hyaena—though of course I know there are no such creatures in this country.
Then was the hyaena very angry, and rushed after the hare and caught him.
It was probably a hyaena or wild dog—both timid of mankind in the open, but anything is formidable when cornered.
Yet it was not a dog, but represented the smaller species of hyaena—the South African “wolf.”
mid-14c., from Old French hiene, from Latin hyaena, from Greek hyaina "swine" (fem.), from hys "pig" + fem. suffix -aina. So called for its bristles. Applied to cruel, treacherous, and greedy persons since at least 1670s. Adjectival forms that have been attempted in English include hyenaish, hyenaesque, hyenic, hyenine.