A small burrowing mongoose (Suricata suricatta) of southern Africa, having brownish-gray fur and a long tail, which it uses for balance when it stands on its hind legs. Also called suricate.
[Afrikaans, from Middle Dutch meercatte, monkey, perhaps a compound of meer, sea (because monkeys came to Europe from overseas); see mori- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + catte, cat (from Germanic *kattuz); see CAT, or perhaps a folk-etymological alteration of an Indic word akin to Marathi mākaḍ, monkey (from Middle Indic makkaṭa-, from Sanskrit markaṭaḥ, perhaps of Dravidian origin and akin to Kannada maṅga).]
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