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a. Any of various catlike mammals of the family Viverridae of Africa and Asia, having anal scent glands that secrete a fluid with a musky odor. Also called civet cat.
b. The thick yellowish musky fluid secreted by one of these mammals, used in the manufacture of perfumes.
c. The fur of one of these mammals.
2. The palm civet of Africa.

[French civette, from Old French, from Catalan civetta, from Medieval Latin zibethus, from Arabic zabād, civet perfume.]


1. (Animals) any catlike viverrine mammal of the genus Viverra and related genera, of Africa and S Asia, typically having blotched or spotted fur and secreting a powerfully smelling fluid from anal glands
2. (Biochemistry) the yellowish fatty secretion of such an animal, used as a fixative in the manufacture of perfumes
3. (Textiles) the fur of such an animal
4. (Animals) short for palm civet
[C16: from Old French civette, from Italian zibetto, from Arabic zabād civet perfume]


(ˈsɪv ɪt)

1. Also called civ′et cat`. any of several catlike carnivores of the family Viverridae, esp. of the genera Viverra of the Orient and Civettictis of Africa.
2. a musky secretion of civets, used in perfumery.
[1525–35; < Middle French civette < Catalan civetta « Arabic zabād civet perfume]
civ′et•like`, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.civet - cat-like mammal typically secreting musk used in perfumescivet - cat-like mammal typically secreting musk used in perfumes
viverrine, viverrine mammal - small cat-like predatory mammals of warmer parts of the Old World
large civet, Viverra zibetha - common civet of India and southeast Asia
small civet, Viverricula indica, Viverricula malaccensis - a common civet of southeast Asia
Arctictis bintourong, bearcat, binturong - arboreal civet of Asia having a long prehensile tail and shaggy black hair
Cryptoprocta, genus Cryptoprocta - large primitive cat-like carnivores inhabiting forests of Madagascar
fanaloka, Fossa fossa - civet of Madagascar
banded palm civet, Hemigalus hardwickii - an East Indian civet
palm cat, palm civet - spotted or striped arboreal civet of southeast Asia and East Indies


[ˈsɪvɪt] Nalgalia f


n (= substance)Zibet m; (= cat)Zibetkatze f


[ˈsɪvɪt] nzibetto
References in periodicals archive ?
Highly Divergent Novel Lyssavirus in an African Civet
This category covers species such as the two-toed sloth, African civet and the alligator snapping turtle.
It would be interesting to discover whether African civet might have been traded from such a port.

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