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1. Any of numerous parasitic wasps of the family Ichneumonidae, with larvae that are parasitoids of other insects and females that have long ovipositors. Also called ichneumon fly.
2. See Egyptian mongoose.
[Latin ichneumōn, Egyptian mongoose, ichneumon fly, from Greek ikhneumōn, from ikhneuein, to track, from ikhnos, track, spoor, footprint, perhaps from oikhesthai, to have gone away, be gone, and akin to Armenian iǰanel, to come down, Old Irish óegi, guest, and Tocharian B yku, gone.]
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) a mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of Africa and S Europe, having greyish-brown speckled fur
[C16: via Latin from Greek, literally: tracker, hunter, from ikhneuein to track, from ikhnos a footprint; so named from the animal's alleged ability to locate the eggs of crocodiles]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ich•neu•mon(ɪkˈnu mən, -ˈnyu-)
1. a slender, long-tailed mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, of N Africa and S Europe, believed by the ancient Egyptians to devour crocodile eggs.
[1565–75; < Latin < Greek ichneúmōn tracker]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||ichneumon - northern African mongoose; in ancient times thought to devour crocodile eggs|
mongoose - agile grizzled Old World viverrine; preys on snakes and rodents
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