[ os-uh-lot, oh-suh- ]
/ ˈɒs əˌlɒt, ˈoʊ sə- /


a spotted leopardlike cat, Felis pardalis, ranging from Texas through South America: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in the U.S.

Nearby words

  1. ocellate,
  2. ocellated,
  3. ocellated turkey,
  4. ocellation,
  5. ocellus,
  6. och,
  7. oche,
  8. ocher,
  9. ochlesis,
  10. ochlesitic

Origin of ocelot

1765–75; < French, apparently arbitrary shortening of Nahuatl tlālōcēlōtl ocelot, equivalent to tlāl(li) earth, land + ōcēlōtl jaguar

Related formsoc·e·loid, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ocelot

British Dictionary definitions for ocelot


/ (ˈɒsɪˌlɒt, ˈəʊ-) /


a feline mammal, Felis pardalis, inhabiting the forests of Central and South America and having a dark-spotted buff-brown coat

Word Origin for ocelot

C18: via French from Nahuatl ocelotl jaguar

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 ocelot



"large wildcat of Central and South America," 1775, from French ocelot, a word formed by French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), from Nahuatl ocelotl "jaguar" (in full tlalocelotl, a compound formed with tlalli "field").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper