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[meer-kat] /ˈmɪər kæt/
Origin of meerkat
Dutch: literally, monkey, apparently equivalent to meer (see mere2) + kat cat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for meerkat
Historical Examples
  • The astonishment of dogs in England at a meerkat brought home by us was most amusing.

  • The last of the civet-like animals about which we can tell you is the meerkat, sometimes known as the suricate.

  • Often, when starting for a ride or drive, we have been obliged to shut up our meerkat, so determined was he to come with us.

  • This meerkat, the largest and handsomest we have ever seen, cannot have been anything less than the chief of his tribe.

  • I would still redeem my pledge, and restore meerkat, so lost not a moment in turning back to release the other two.

    A Veldt Vendetta Bertram Mitford
British Dictionary definitions for meerkat


any of several South African mongooses, esp Suricata suricatta (slender-tailed meerkat or suricate), which has a lemur-like face and four-toed feet
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch: sea-cat
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 meerkat

late 15c., "monkey," from Dutch meerkat "monkey" (related to Old High German mericazza), apparently from meer "lake" + kat "cat." But cf. Hindi markat, Sanskrit markata "ape," which might serve as a source of a Teutonic folk-etymology, even though the word was in Germanic before any known direct contact with India. First applied to the small South African mammals in 1801.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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