See more synonyms for cougar on
noun, plural cou·gars, (especially collectively) cou·gar.
  1. Also called mountain lion, panther, puma. a large, tawny cat, Felis concolor, of North and South America: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in some areas.
  2. Informal. an older woman who seeks sexual relationships with much younger men: He's in his twenties, but he prefers cougars in their forties and fifties to young women his own age.

Origin of cougar

1765–75; < French couguar (Buffon) < New Latin cuguacu ara, apparently a misrepresentation of Guarani guaçu ara Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cougar

panther, puma, catamount

Examples from the Web for cougar

Contemporary Examples of cougar

Historical Examples of cougar

  • What between the blow of the cougar and the force of the fall, the big-horn was dead.

    Two Arrows

    William O. Stoddard

  • Two Arrows wiped the blood of the cougar from the blade of his lance.

    Two Arrows

    William O. Stoddard

  • But now the hounds were too quick, and in a trice they had the cougar surrounded.

  • No cougar stalking its prey could have been more lithely wary.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • Perhaps the coyotes were over there; or could it be a cougar or a bear?

    The Story of Wool

    Sara Ware Bassett

British Dictionary definitions for cougar


  1. another name for puma
  2. US and Canadian slang a woman in her 30s or 40s who actively pursues casual sexual relationships with young men

Word Origin for cougar

C18: from French couguar, from Portuguese cuguardo, from Tupi suasuarana, literally: deerlike, from suasú deer + rana similar to
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

Word Origin and History for cougar

1774, from French couguar, Buffon's adaption (influenced by jaguar) of a word the Portuguese picked up in Brazil as çuçuarana, perhaps from Tupi susuarana, from suasu "deer" + rana "false." Another proposed source is Guarani guaçu ara. Evidently the cedillas dropped off the word before Buffon got it. Slang sense of "older woman (35-plus) who seeks younger males as sex partners" is attested by 2002; said in some sources to have originated in Canada, probably from some reference to predatory feline nature.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper