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  1. a small tiger cat, Felis tigrina, of tropical America: now rare.

Origin of margay

1775–85; < French (Buffon), alteration of margaia < Portuguese maracajá < Tupi marakaya
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for margay

Historical Examples

  • We may see the ocelot skulking through the deep shade, or the margay springing upon its winged prey.

    The Forest Exiles

    Mayne Reid

  • Fritz presented us each with a neat case of margay skin to hang at our girdles.

    The Swiss Family Robinson

    Johann David Wyss

  • I should say this was a margay, and it would have proved a cruel foe, not only of our poultry, but also of our sheep and goats.

    The Swiss Family Robinson

    Johann David Wyss

  • The animal called the margay is really a kind of small ocelot, and it is sometimes known as the tiger-cat.

  • Fritz was engaged in preparing the skin of the margay, with more care than Jack had shown with that of the jackal.

British Dictionary definitions for margay


  1. a feline mammal, Felis wiedi, of Central and South America, having a dark-striped coat

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Tupi mbaracaiá
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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