hyaena

[hahy-ee-nuh]
Related formshy·ae·nic, adjective

hyena

or hy·ae·na

[hahy-ee-nuh]
noun
  1. a doglike carnivore of the family Hyaenidae, of Africa, southwestern Asia, and south central Asia, having a coarse coat, a sloping back, and large teeth and feeding chiefly on carrion, often in packs.

Origin of hyena

1350–1400; Middle English hiena < Medieval Latin hyēna, Latin hyaena < Greek hýaina, equivalent to hy- (stem of hŷs) hog + -aina feminine suffix; replacing Middle English hyane, hyene < Middle French hiene < Latin
Related formshy·e·nic, hy·e·nine [hahy-ee-nahyn, -nin] /haɪˈi naɪn, -nɪn/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hyaena

Historical Examples of hyaena


British Dictionary definitions for hyaena

hyaena

noun
  1. a variant spelling of hyena
Derived Formshyaenic, adjective

hyena

hyaena

noun
  1. any of several long-legged carnivorous doglike mammals of the genera Hyaena and Crocuta, such as C. crocuta (spotted or laughing hyena), of Africa and S Asia: family Hyaenidae, order Carnivora (carnivores)See also strandwolf
Derived Formshyenic or hyaenic, adjective

Word Origin for hyena

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin hyaena, from Greek huaina, from hus hog
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 hyaena

hyena

n.

mid-14c., from Old French hiene, from Latin hyaena, from Greek hyaina "swine" (fem.), from hys "pig" + fem. suffix -aina. So called for its bristles. Applied to cruel, treacherous, and greedy persons since at least 1670s. Adjectival forms that have been attempted in English include hyenaish, hyenaesque, hyenic, hyenine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper