[ pohl-kat ]

noun,plural pole·cats, (especially collectively) pole·cat.
  1. a European mammal, Mustela putorius, of the weasel family, having a blackish fur and ejecting a fetid fluid when attacked or disturbed.: Compare ferret1 (def. 1).

  2. any of various North American skunks.

Origin of polecat

1275–1325; Middle English polcat, perhaps equivalent to Middle French pol, poul “chicken” (<Latin pullus ) + cat

Words Nearby polecat

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How to use polecat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for polecat


/ (ˈpəʊlˌkæt) /

nounplural -cats or -cat
  1. Also called (formerly): foumart a dark brown musteline mammal, Mustela putorius, of woodlands of Europe, Asia, and N Africa, that is closely related to but larger than the weasel and gives off an unpleasant smell: See also sweet marten

  2. any of various related animals, such as the marbled polecat, Vormela peregusna

  1. US a nontechnical name for skunk (def. 1)

Origin of polecat

C14 polcat, perhaps from Old French pol cock, from Latin pullus, + cat 1; from its habit of preying on poultry

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