[ siv-it ]
/ ˈsɪv ɪt /


a yellowish, unctuous substance with a strong musklike odor, obtained from a pouch in the genital region of civets and used in perfumery.
any catlike, carnivorous mammal of the subfamily Viverrinae, chiefly of southern Asia and Africa, having a coarse-haired, spotted coat, rounded ears, and a narrow muzzle.
any of various related or similar animals, as the palm civet.

Origin of civet

1525–35; < Middle French civette < Catalan civettaArabic zabād civet perfume; see zibet


civ·et·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for civet

British Dictionary definitions for civet

/ (ˈsɪvɪt) /


any catlike viverrine mammal of the genus Viverra and related genera, of Africa and S Asia, typically having blotched or spotted fur and secreting a powerfully smelling fluid from anal glands
the yellowish fatty secretion of such an animal, used as a fixative in the manufacture of perfumes
the fur of such an animal
short for palm civet

Word Origin for civet

C16: from Old French civette, from Italian zibetto, from Arabic zabād civet perfume
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