Definition of meerkat noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

meerkat

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈmɪəkæt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmɪrkæt//
 
Wild mammals
 
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a small southern African animal with a long tail, which often stands up on its back legs. Meerkats are a type of mongoose. See related entries: Wild mammals Word Origin early 18th cent.: from South African Dutch, from Dutch, ‘long-tailed monkey’, apparently from meer ‘sea’ + kat ‘cat’, but perhaps originally an alteration of an oriental word; compare with Hindi markaṭ ‘ape’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: meerkat