Student Dictionary

One entry found for polecat.
Main Entry: pole·cat
Pronunciation: primarystresspomacrl-secondarystresskat
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural polecats or polecat
Etymology: Middle English polcat "polecat," probably from early French pol, poul "cock" and Middle English cat "cat, a small animal"
1 : a brown to black European flesh-eating mammal related to the weasels
2 : 1SKUNK 1
Word History A polecat is not a cat at all, and its name has nothing to do with poles. The European polecat looks like a large weasel with a bandit's mask of darker fur around its eyes. The polecat has long been known as a killer of poultry, and its name reflects its reputation. Polecat was spelled polcat in Middle English. This word was probably formed from pol or poul, the early French word for "cock," and the Middle English word cat. During the Middle English period people often gave the name cat to small animals, like the polecat, that looked something like the ordinary house cat.
[polecat illustration]

Pronunciation Symbols