Share this entry

Share this page

desman

Syllabification: des·man
Pronunciation: /ˈdezmən
 
/

Definition of desman in English:

noun

A small, semiaquatic European mammal related to the mole, with a long, tubular muzzle and webbed toes.
  • Family Talpidae: the Russian desman (Desmana moschata) and the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus)
Example sentences
  • The family Talpidae consists of moles and desmans; currently, its approximately 42 species are grouped into 17 genera.
  • Moles are from the family Talpidae which includes moles, desmans, and shrew-moles.
  • Primarily an insectivore, the desman's diet consists of aquatic insects and their larvae, along with snails and small, slow-moving fish, which are attracted to its trenches by the musk smell and aerated water it leaves in its wake.

Origin

late 18th century: via French and German from Swedish desman-råtta 'muskrat', from desman 'musk'.

Definition of desman in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day verbose
Pronunciation: vərˈbōs
adjective
using more words than are needed…