- a slender, ferretlike carnivore, Herpestes edwardsi, of India, that feeds on rodents, birds, and eggs, noted especially for its ability to kill cobras and other venomous snakes.
- any of several other animals of this genus or related genera.
Origin of mongoose
Examples from the Web for mongoose
Still more watchful is a cobra when he fights with a mongoose.
The mongoose is a small beast of prey of the Viverridæ family.
They are particularly on the watch for the Mediterranean fruit fly and for the mongoose.Conservation Reader
Harold W. Fairbanks
When there were no people in the bungalow, did we have any mongoose in the garden?The Jungle Book
Is it what they call the mongoose, or monsoon, or something?Hilda Wade
- any small predatory viverrine mammal of the genus Herpestes and related genera, occurring in Africa and from S Europe to SE Asia, typically having a long tail and brindled coat
Word Origin and History for mongoose
"snake-killing ichneumon of India," 1690s, perhaps via Portuguese, from an Indic language (cf. Mahrathi mangus "mongoose"), probably ultimately from Dravidian (cf. Telugu mangisu, Kanarese mungisi, Tamil mangus). The form of the English word altered by folk-etymology.