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


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).]
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.


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


(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]
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.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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Jenny Morgan, director at the centre, said the finishing touches were being put on the new enclosure for the meerkats, which cost PS15,000.
Meerkats, which are native to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Angola, live in open country and sparse woody scrublands, feeding mostly on lizards, birds, bugs and fruit.
A school has welcomed two meerkats to their successful animal care centre.
For in the run-up to the Easter weekend, the popular Redcar attraction has welcomed new baby porcupines, meerkats and owls.
The animals, including baby macaques, lemurs and meerkats tore into some tasty treats.
DUDLEY Zoo meerkats had a blast bursting bubbles, thanks to a generous zoo supporter who bought a bubble machine for our animals.
The Mystic Meerkats at Drayton Manor Park's 15-acre zoo near Tamworth have surpassed everyone's expectations by predicting nine matches correctly so far during this year'sFIFA World Cup.
Many laughed when Drayton Manor Zoo claimed its meerkats had mystic World Cup powers.
I'VE seen meerkats on TV adverts and at the zoo but never had the chance to treat one.
Annan Grizzlies...........43 Annan Meerkats..........47 The annual Grizzlies v Meerkats fixture for the Sarah Bell Happy MemoriesTrophy took place at Annan on Sunday.