- 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
Examples from the Web for hyaena
He no longer laughed, he was terrible, he went and came; the fox was changed into a hyaena.Notre-Dame de Paris
The presence of the Cave Hyaena does not controvert that conclusion.Prehistoric Man
W. L. H. Duckworth
Well, we fancied that the cry of the hyaena was a recent invention of our own!Parisians in the Country
Honore de Balzac
Temminck, its original describer, placed it in the genus Hyaena.The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia
Frank Evers Beddard
It is only a hyaena, and the hungry fellow has scented a prey.My Kalulu, Prince, King and Slave
Henry M. Stanley
- a variant spelling of hyena
- 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
Word Origin and History for hyaena
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.