(redirected from Man-eating badger)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


 (rät′l, rāt′l)
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]


(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]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ratel - nocturnal badger-like carnivore of wooded regions of Africa and southern Asiaratel - nocturnal badger-like carnivore of wooded regions of Africa and southern Asia
mustelid, musteline, musteline mammal - fissiped fur-bearing carnivorous mammals
References in periodicals archive ?
British forces in Basra have been accused of releasing a plague of ferocious, man-eating badgers, but several of the creatures, caught by local farmers, have been identified by experts as honey badgers.
BRITAIN has been accused of terrorising Iraqis by releasing a plague of man-eating badgers in Basra.
Army spokesman Major Mike Shearer said: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."