ratel(redirected from Honeybadger)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
A carnivorous mammal (Mellivora capensis) of Africa and Asia, having short legs and a thick coat that is dark below and whitish above. Also called honey badger.
[Afrikaans, from Dutch ratel, rattle (so called because of the animal's cry) (from Middle Dutch rātel, rātele; akin to Middle High German razela, rasela and Old English hrate, hratele, a kind of plant with rattling seed capsules), or from dialectal Dutch ratel, honeycomb (so called because of the animal's taste for honey) (akin to standard Dutch raat, honeycomb; akin to Old High German rāza).]
1. (Animals) Also called: honey badger a musteline mammal, Mellivora capensis, inhabiting wooded regions of Africa and S Asia. It has a massive body, strong claws, and a thick coat that is paler on the back and it feeds on honey and small animals
2. (Automotive Engineering) South African a six-wheeled armoured vehicle
[C18: from Afrikaans]
ra•tel(ˈreɪt l, ˈrɑt l)
a badgerlike carnivore, Mellivora capensis, of Africa and India. Also called honey badger.
[1770–80; < Afrikaans < dial. Dutch ratel, variant of raat honeycomb; perhaps elliptically from a compound with this word, referring to the animal's fondness for honey]