Definition of polecat in English:

polecat

Line breaks: pole|cat
Pronunciation: /ˈpəʊlkat
 
/

noun

  • 1A weasel-like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for its fetid smell.
    • Genus Mustela, family Mustelidae: three species, in particular the European polecat (M. putorius), which is the probable ancestor of the domestic ferret
    More example sentences
    • Adult and juvenile gerbils of both sexes give alarm calls and footdrum in the presence of an assortment of terrestrial predators: snakes, monitor lizards, foxes, polecats, weasels, humans and large ungulates.
    • Martin, from Wilmslow, is particularly fond of the polecat - the mammal from which ferrets evolved - and over two years he has rescued 10 injured polecats and then sent them back into their habitat to breed.
    • He said the smell was caused by polecats, which have a natural pungent odour, and the dead bird had stunned itself the previous day when it escaped and flew into a window.
  • 1.1 North American term for skunk.

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from Old French pole 'chicken' + cat1.

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