1690s. Borrowed from Portuguese mangusto, from Marathi मुंगूस, from omr 𑘦𑘳𑘽𑘐𑘳𑘭, from Telugu ముంగిస. Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈmɒŋ.ɡuːs/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmɑŋ.ɡus/, /ˈmʌŋ.ɡus/

mongoose (plural mongooses)

  1. Any of several species of generalist predatory Carnivores in the family Herpestidae; the various species range in size from rats to large cats. The Indian mongoose is noted as a predator of venomous snakes, though other mongoose species have similar habits.
  2. Any species of Malagasy mongoose; only distantly related to the Herpestidae, these are members of the family Eupleridae; they resemble mongooses in appearance and habits, but have larger ears and ringed tails.

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