ichneumon

[ ik-noo-muhn, -nyoo- ]
/ ɪkˈnu mən, -ˈnyu- /

noun

Also called African mongoose, Egyptian mongoose . a slender, long-tailed mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, inhabiting Africa and southern Europe, and believed by the ancient Egyptians to devour crocodile eggs.

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Origin of ichneumon

1565–75; <Latin <Greek ichneúmōn tracker, equivalent to ichneú(ein) to track (see ichno-) + -mōn agent suffix
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British Dictionary definitions for ichneumon

ichneumon
/ (ɪkˈnjuːmən) /

noun

a mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of Africa and S Europe, having greyish-brown speckled fur

Word Origin for ichneumon

C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: tracker, hunter, from ikhneuein to track, from ikhnos a footprint; so named from the animal's alleged ability to locate the eggs of crocodiles
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