[ ra-koon ]

noun,plural rac·coons, (especially collectively) rac·coon.
  1. a nocturnal omnivore, Procyon lotor, the largest member of the family Procyonidae, having a masklike black stripe across the eyes, a sharp snout, a bushy, ringed tail, and very dexterous front paws, native to North and Central America and introduced elsewhere for its valuable fur: more than 20 subspecies have been named.

  2. the thick, brownish-gray fur of this animal, with gray, black-tipped guard hairs.

  1. any of various related animals of the genus Procyon, of Central American islands, some now rare.

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Origin of raccoon

An Americanism dating back to 1600–10; from Virginia Algonquian (English spelling) aroughcun, from arahkunem “he scratches with his hands”
  • Also ra·coon .

Words Nearby raccoon

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British Dictionary definitions for raccoon



/ (rəˈkuːn) /

nounplural -coons or -coon
  1. any omnivorous mammal of the genus Procyon, esp P. lotor (North American raccoon), inhabiting forests of North and Central America and the Caribbean: family Procyonidae, order Carnivora (carnivores). Raccoons have a pointed muzzle, long tail, and greyish-black fur with black bands around the tail and across the face

  2. the fur of the North American raccoon

Origin of raccoon

C17: from Algonquian ärähkun, from ärähkuněm he scratches with his hands

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