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zo·ril·la(zə-rĭl′ə) also zor·il , or zor·ille (zôr′ĭl, zŏr′-)
A carnivorous mustelid mammal (Ictonyx striatus) of Africa, resembling a skunk in appearance and in its method of defense.
[From New Latin (Mūstēla) zorilla, former species name, from French zorille, zorilla, from American Spanish zorrillo, skunk, from diminutive of Spanish zorro, fox, masculine back-formation from feminine zorra, vixen, from Old Spanish, idle and immoral woman, from zorrar, to drag, possibly imitative of the sound of dragging, or possibly variant of jorrar, to drag (probably from Arabic jurr, masculine singular imperative jarra, to drag; see grr in the Appendix of Semitic roots).]
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.
zor•il(ˈzɔr ɪl, ˈzɒr-)
also zo•ril•la(zəˈrɪl ə)
n., pl. zor•ils also zo•ril•las.
a skunklike African mammal, Ictonyx striatus, of the weasel family.
[1765–75; < French zorille < Sp zorrilla, zorillo, diminutive of zorra, zorro fox]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.