serval

[sur-vuh l]
noun, plural ser·vals, (especially collectively) ser·val.
  1. a long-limbed, nocturnal African cat, Felis serval, about the size of a bobcat, having a tawny coat spotted with black: now rare in many former habitats.

Origin of serval

1765–75; < New Latin < Portuguese (lobo) cerval lynx, literally, staglike (wolf) < Late Latin cervālis deerlike, equivalent to Latin cerv(us) stag + -ālis -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for serval

Historical Examples of serval


British Dictionary definitions for serval

serval

noun plural -vals or -val
  1. a slender feline mammal, Felis serval, of the African bush, having an orange-brown coat with black spots, large ears, and long legs

Word Origin for serval

C18: via French from Late Latin cervālis staglike, from Latin cervus a stag
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 serval
n.

African wild cat, 1771, from Modern Latin serval, French serval (Buffon, 1765), from Portuguese (lobo) cerval "lynx," from Latin lupus cervarius (cf. French loup cervier) "lynx," literally "wolf that hunts the stag," from cervarius "pertaining to a stag," from cervus "stag" (see horn (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper