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(ĭk-no͞o′mən, -nyo͞o′-)
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.

[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


(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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ichneumon - northern African mongooseichneumon - northern African mongoose; in ancient times thought to devour crocodile eggs
mongoose - agile grizzled Old World viverrine; preys on snakes and rodents
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
But natural selection can and does often produce structures for the direct injury of other species, as we see in the fang of the adder, and in the ovipositor of the ichneumon, by which its eggs are deposited in the living bodies of other insects.
"Well, some call them that, and some call them ichneumon," said the man.
"Two of my favourite discoveries so far have been the strikingly coloured ichneumonid wasp Ichneumon stramentor (the first known record for Scotland) and a moth called Brussels lace, an uncommon species which has been confirmed as a county first.
The giant ichneumon is out for a specific kind of insect to serve as host for her eggs.
dorsata, Amegilla cingulata and Xylocopa sp.), one species each from Halictidae (Halictus sp.), Ichneumonidae (Ichneumon sp.) and Sphecidae (Sphex sp.) were found on B.
The generic placement and identity of Ichneumon punctum Shaw (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae), and designation of a neotype.
These texts routinely dedicated significant space to sensational stories and even myths known to be untrue, most famously the 'crocodile bird' alleged to clean crocodiles' teeth, and the 'ichneumon' (mongoose) believed to crawl down crocodiles' throats and gnaw its way out from the inside.
(48) Just as we might intentionally bring a child into the world but then not support some of his or her actions in life, so too, God brought the world into being but did not specially design, for example, the parasitic Ichneumon wasp whose larvae eat their way out of the bodies of living caterpillars.
It is the pineapple, the pineapple syrup that my mother also makes; the ichneumon banana syrup she makes, and it is syrup ...
Species Status in the FRs Arctocebus calabarensis rare Cephalophus niger very rare Herpestes ichneumon rare Funisciurus sp.
Type species: Ichneumon tipulae Kirby, 1798; designated by Ashmead (1893).
Maingon et al., "The Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, is a possible reservoir host of visceral Leishmaniasis in eastern Sudan," Parasitology, vol.