(redirected from African civets)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈsɪvɪt] Nalgalia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (= substance)Zibet m; (= cat)Zibetkatze f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈsɪvɪt] nzibetto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in periodicals archive ?
You might also spot some of the resident wildlife such as banded mongoose, genet cats, Sykes monkeys, common duiker, African civets or the rare side-striped jackals.
When she was accessioned into the zoo, they also brought in two African civets and a kestrel.
Workers wash the beans and roast them to produce coffee with purported aphrodisiac properties, and a distinct odor and flavor that's "good to the last dropping." Some aficionados dismiss civet coffee as a scam or novelty product, yet its mystique has led two Canadian entrepreneurs on the trail of coffee produced with the help of African civets, which may not carry the SARS virus.

Full browser ?