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Related to Desmanini: desmans, Desmaninae


n. pl. des·mans
Either of two aquatic, insectivorous, molelike mammals, Desmana moschata of eastern Europe and western Asia or Galemys pyrenaicus of southwest Europe, having dense brownish fur, a long snout, and a flattened scaly tail.

[Short for Swedish desmanråtta, muskrat : desman, musk (from Middle Low German desem, from Medieval Latin bisamum, of Semitic origin; see bśm in Semitic roots) + råtta, rat.]
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.


n, pl -mans
(Animals) either of two molelike amphibious mammals Desmana moschata (Russian desman) or Galemys pyrenaicus (Pyrenean desman), having dense fur and webbed feet: family Talpidae, order Insectivora (insectivores)
[C18: from Swedish desmansråtta, from desman musk (of Germanic origin) + råtta rat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014