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View synonyms for civet

civet

[ siv-it ]

noun

  1. a yellowish, unctuous substance with a strong musklike odor, obtained from a pouch in the genital region of civets and used in perfumery.
  2. 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.
  3. any of various related or similar animals, as the palm civet.


civet

/ ˈsɪvɪt /

noun

  1. 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
  2. the yellowish fatty secretion of such an animal, used as a fixative in the manufacture of perfumes
  3. the fur of such an animal
  4. short for palm civet


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Other Words From

  • civet·like adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of civet1

1525–35; < Middle French civette < Catalan civetta Arabic zabād civet perfume; zibet
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Word History and Origins

Origin of civet1

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

The SARS virus spread to people from civets infected with a bat coronavirus.

In China, civets, live wolf pups and pangolins have often been kept in cramped and filthy conditions, allowing diseases to incubate and then spill into human populations.

From Time

That demonstrated a connection to food animals, which was quickly confirmed when a team from Hong Kong found an almost identical virus in civets held in market cages.

That genetic detective work revealed that civets most likely got the virus from bats and then passed it onto the people who handled civets.

In the wake of that outbreak, which claimed at least 774 lives worldwide, palm civets were banned from sale or consumption in China.

From Time

Muske-catthe civet-cat; applied as a term of contempt to a fop, as being a person perfumed with musk.

The civet has nothing in common with the hyna but the glandular pouch, under the tail, and the mane along the neck and back-bone.

THE generality of naturalists are of opinion that the perfume called civet, or musk, is furnished only by one species of animals.

Certain it is, that most of the fables which have been related of the hyna, took their rise from the civet.

The civet brought from Amsterdam is preferred to that which comes from the Levant or the Indies, as being the most genuine.

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Civ.civet cat