ser·val (sûrvəl, sər-văl)
A long-legged African wildcat (Leptailurus serval), having a tawny coat with black spots and very large erect ears without tufts.
[French, from Portuguese (lobo) cerval, deerlike (wolf), lynx, from Late Latin cervālis, from Latin cervus, deer; see ker-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.