• synonyms


  1. a brownish, arboreal mammal, Potos flavus, of Central and South America, having a prehensile tail, related to the raccoon and coati.
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Origin of kinkajou

1790–1800; < French: wolverine (misapplied by Buffon to Potos flavus), earlier quincajou, perhaps a conflation of carcajou carcajou with Ojibwa kwi˙nkwaʔa˙ke˙ a cognate word
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kinkajou

Historical Examples

  • The Kinkajou (Cercoleptes caudivolvulus) of Demerara belongs to this family.

    Natural History in Anecdote


  • This disposition of the generative parts is still further modified in a few animals, such as the Rat and the Kinkajou.

  • They much resemble the kinkajou in external appearance, but the skull and teeth are more like those of Procyon and Nasua.

  • It is also known as the aswail and the honey-bear, the last name being also given to the Malay bear and the kinkajou.

British Dictionary definitions for kinkajou


  1. Also called: honey bear, potto an arboreal fruit-eating mammal, Potos flavus, of Central and South America, with a long prehensile tail: family Procyonidae (raccoons) order Carnivora (carnivores)
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Word Origin

C18: from French quincajou, from Algonquian; related to Ojibwa gwĭngwâage wolverine
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 kinkajou


1796, from French (1670s), from an Algonquian word.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper