noun (plural hyenas; also hyena) Etymology: Middle English hyene, from Latin hyaena, from Greek hyaina, from hys hog — more at sow Date: 14th century any of several large strong nocturnal carnivorous Old World mammals (family Hyaenidae) that usually feed as scavengers • hyenic adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • HYENA — (Heb. צָבוֹעַ), mammal. The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena (striata) is found in Israel, the spotted species inhabiting Africa. One of the largest carnivores in Israel, its body length averages 109 cm and its average weight is 70 lbs (32 kg.), but… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hyena — Hy*e na, n.; pl. {Hyenas}. [L. hyaena, Gr. ?, orig., a sow, but usually, a Libyan wild beast, prob., the hyena, fr. ? hog: cf. F. hy[ e]ne. See {Sow} female hog.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any carnivorous mammal of the family {Hy[ae]nid[ae]}, doglike nocturnal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hyena — (also hyaena) ► NOUN ▪ a doglike carnivorous African mammal with long forelimbs and an erect mane. ORIGIN Greek huaina female pig (probably because of the resemblance of the hyena s mane to a hog s bristles) …   English terms dictionary

  • hyena — [hī ē′nə] n. [L hyaena < Gr hyaina, hyena, lit., sow (so called from its hoglike mane) < hys, a hog (+ aina, fem. suffix) < IE base * sū , hog > SWINE] any of various wolflike carnivores (family Hyaenidae) of Africa and Asia, with… …   English World dictionary

  • hyena — mid 14c., from O.Fr. hiene, from L. hyaena, from Gk. hyaina swine (fem.), from hys pig + fem. suffix aina. So called for its bristles. Applied to cruel, treacherous, and greedy persons since at least 1670s. Adjectival forms that have been… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hyena — is spelt e , not (as formerly) ae , and has the plural form hyenas …   Modern English usage

  • Hyena — This article is about the family of animals. For other uses, see Hyena (disambiguation). Hyenas Temporal range: 26–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • hyena — hyenic, hyenine /huy ee nuyn, nin/, adj. /huy ee neuh/, n. a doglike carnivore of the family Hyaenidae, of Africa, southwestern Asia, and south central Asia, having a coarse coat, a sloping back, and large teeth and feeding chiefly on carrion,… …   Universalium

  • hyena — /haɪˈinə / (say huy eenuh) noun 1. any of three mainly nocturnal carnivores of the family Hyaenidae, having massive jaws for crushing bones, as the striped hyena, Hyaena hyaena, of Africa and Asia, a solitary scavenger, the brown hyena, H.… …   Australian English dictionary

  • hyena — n. 1) a brown; laughing; spotted; striped hyena 2) a clan, pack of hyenas * * * [haɪ iːnə] laughing pack of hyenas spotted striped hyena a brown a clan …   Combinatory dictionary

  • hyena — UK [haɪˈiːnə] / US [haɪˈɪnə] noun [countable] Word forms hyena : singular hyena plural hyenas a wild animal similar to a dog that lives mainly in Africa and makes a noise that sounds like laughing …   English dictionary

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