Cape polecat
Zorilla o*ril"la, n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zo["o]l.) Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the genus {Ictonyx} allied to the weasels and skunks. [Written also {zoril}, and {zorille}.] [1913 Webster]

Note: The best-known species ({Ictonyx zorilla}) has black shiny fur with white bands and spots. It has anal glands which produce a very offensive secretion, similar to that of the skunk. It feeds upon birds and their eggs and upon small mammals, and is often very destructive to poultry. It is sometimes tamed by the natives, and kept to destroy rats and mice. Called also {mariput}, {Cape polecat}, and {African polecat}. The name is sometimes erroneously applied to the American skunk. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • polecat — /pohl kat /, n., pl. polecats, (esp. collectively) polecat. 1. a European mammal, Mustela putorius, of the weasel family, having a blackish fur and ejecting a fetid fluid when attacked or disturbed. Cf. ferret1 (def. 1). 2. any of various North… …   Universalium

  • African polecat — Zorilla o*ril la, n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zo[ o]l.) Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the genus {Ictonyx} allied to the weasels and skunks. [Written also {zoril}, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • zorille — or zoril [zôr′il, zär′il] n. 〚Fr zorille < Sp zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, fox〛 a small, striped, black and white, musteline carnivore (Ictonyx striatus) of the drier parts of Africa: it looks and smells like the skunk * * * zor·ille… …   Universalium

  • Ictonyx zorilla — Zorilla o*ril la, n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zo[ o]l.) Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the genus {Ictonyx} allied to the weasels and skunks. [Written also {zoril}, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mariput — Zorilla o*ril la, n. [Sp. zorilla, zorillo, dim. of zorra, zorro, a fox: cf. F. zorille.] (Zo[ o]l.) Either one of two species of small African carnivores of the genus {Ictonyx} allied to the weasels and skunks. [Written also {zoril}, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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