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A small burrowing mongoose (Suricata suricatta) of southern Africa, having brownish-gray fur and a long tail, which it uses for balance when it stands on its hind legs. Also called suricate.

[Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch meercatte, monkey, perhaps a compound of meer, sea (because monkeys came to Europe from overseas); see mori- in Indo-European roots + catte, cat (from Germanic *kattuz); see cat, or perhaps a folk-etymological alteration of an Indic word akin to Marathi mākaḍ, monkey (from Middle Indic makkaṭa-, from Sanskrit markaṭaḥ, perhaps of Dravidian origin and akin to Kannada maṅga).]


(Animals) any of several South African mongooses, esp Suricata suricatta (slender-tailed meerkat or suricate), which has a lemur-like face and four-toed feet
[C19: from Dutch: sea-cat]


(ˈsʊər ɪˌkeɪt)

a small burrowing South African colonial viverrid, Suricata suricatta, related to the mongooses.
Also called meerkat.
[1775–85; earlier surikate < French < Dutch surikat macaque]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meerkat - a mongoose-like viverrine of South Africa having a face like a lemur and only four toesmeerkat - a mongoose-like viverrine of South Africa having a face like a lemur and only four toes
viverrine, viverrine mammal - small cat-like predatory mammals of warmer parts of the Old World
slender-tailed meerkat, Suricata suricatta - a meerkat with a thin and elongated tail
Suricata tetradactyla, suricate - burrowing diurnal meerkat of southern Africa; often kept as a pet
References in periodicals archive ?
What started as 14 meerkats this time last year, seven females and seven males, has increased by 17 pups, for a total of 31 of the cuddly little critters now competing for attention at the Taipei Zoo.
Four meerkats were still missing and feared dead hours after the inferno at the top attraction in Regent's Park.
Four meerkats were still missing and presumed dead hours after the inferno at the top attraction.
TV ad meerkats Sergei, Oleg and co all have names - but more than a dozen of their reallife cousins at Dudley Zoological Gardens don't.
com's meerkats all over your TV in the ad breaks and, if you've used the service, enjoyed two-for-one cinema tickets.
edu/animals/meerkat) Meerkats are a type of mongoose that uses scent to communicate, including by marking their territory.
A SCOTS zoo who lost 11 meerkats in a fire have welcomed a new litter of four pups.
Staff at Whitehouse Farm Centre, near Morpeth, were thrilled when three baby meerkats were born last month.
The Walford meerkats live in the Harris Centre, a modern animal care teaching building.
Meerkats can be found across the woody scrublands of southern Africa.
MEERKATS Sergei and Aleksandr have landed themselves a new squeeze, and it is none other than Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman.