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hyaena

[hahy-ee-nuh]
noun
  1. hyena.
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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.
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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

  • He no longer laughed, he was terrible, he went and came; the fox was changed into a hyaena.

    Notre-Dame de Paris

    Victor Hugo

  • 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.

  • It is only a hyaena, and the hungry fellow has scented a prey.


British Dictionary definitions for hyaena

hyaena

noun
  1. a variant spelling of hyena
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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
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Derived Formshyenic or hyaenic, adjective

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper