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[os-uh-lot, oh-suh-] /ˈɒs əˌlɒt, ˈoʊ sə-/
a spotted leopardlike cat, Felis pardalis, ranging from Texas through South America: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in the U.S.
Origin of ocelot
1765-75; < French, apparently arbitrary shortening of Nahuatl tlālōcēlōtl ocelot, equivalent to tlāl(li) earth, land + ōcēlōtl jaguar
Related forms
oceloid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ocelot
Historical Examples
  • It was, as had been supposed, an ocelot, the most beautiful creature of that region.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
  • This is well shown in the ocelot, Fig. 15, and in many other cats.

  • "The ocelot bounds away too quickly," he observed, as if offended.

    The Treasure of Pearls Gustave Aimard
  • The ocelot is next only to the jaguar in ferocity and daring.

    Lost in the Wilds of Brazil

    James H. Foster
  • America has several Tiger-Cats, foremost amongst which may be mentioned the ocelot.

    The Book of Cats Charles H. Ross
  • A few animals, among others the ocelot, inhabited the thickets.

  • In all his hunters experience, he had never seen an ocelot so large.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • It cannot be; an assassin would not have interfered with the ocelot.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • Ah, you should have seen the ocelot when taken from the tank!

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • An ocelot, trudging stealthily behind him, was his sole companion.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for ocelot


/ˈɒsɪˌlɒt; ˈəʊ-/
a feline mammal, Felis pardalis, inhabiting the forests of Central and South America and having a dark-spotted buff-brown coat
Word Origin
C18: via French from Nahuatl ocelotl jaguar
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 ocelot

"large wildcat of Central and South America," 1775, from French ocelot, a word formed by French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), from Nahuatl ocelotl "jaguar" (in full tlalocelotl, a compound formed with tlalli "field").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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