Definition of Hyena

1. Noun. Doglike nocturnal mammal of Africa and southern Asia that feeds chiefly on carrion.

Definition of Hyena

1. n. Any carnivorous mammal of the family Hyænidæ, of which three living species are known. They are large and strong, but cowardly. They feed chiefly on carrion, and are nocturnal in their habits.

Definition of Hyena

1. Noun. Large, (canine)?resembling (carnivore) belonging to the family ''Hyaenidae'', native to Africa and Asia, often notable for the sound similar to (laughter) which it can make if excited. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Hyena

1. a wolflike mammal [n -S] : HYENIC, HYENINE, HYENOID [adj]

Medical Definition of Hyena

1. Origin: L. Hyaena, Gr, orig, a sow, but usually, a Libyan wild beast, prob, the hyena, fr. Hog: cf. F. Hyene. See Sow female hog. Any carnivorous mammal of the family Hyaenidae, of which three living species are known. They are large and strong, but cowardly. They feed chiefly on carrion, and are nocturnal in their habits. Alternative forms: hyaena. The striped hyena (Hyaena striata) inhabits Southern Asia and a large part of Africa. The brown hyena (H. Brunnea), and the spotted hyena (Crocuta maculata), are found in Southern Africa. The extinct cave hyena (H. Spelaea) inhabited England and France. Cave hyena. See Cave. Hyena dog, a South African canine animal (Lycaon venaticus), which hunts in packs, chiefly at night. It is smaller than the common wolf, with very large, erect ears, and a bushy tail. Its colour is reddish or yellowish brown, blotched with black and white. Synonym: hunting dog. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Hyena Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Hyena

hyena (current term)
hyena dog

Literary usage of Hyena

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss, Jenny H. Stickney (1898)
"THE hyena. we hastened together towards the scene of the tumult. ... THE hyena. AT breakfast, next morning, we related our night's -^-*- adventure to the ..."

2. The Masai: Their Language and Folklore by Alfred Claud Hollis (1905)
"On the road she met the hyena, who asked her where she came from, ... The hare denied that her mouth was oily, but as the hyena persisted in his statement, ..."

3. Organic Remains of a Former World.: An Examination of the Mineralized by James Parkinson (1811)
"From these characters he is led to think that the fossil hyena had the •muzzle much shorter in proportion than the hyena of the Levant, by which it must ..."

4. Wood Carvings in English Churches by Francis Bond (1910)
"THE hyena. Tliis foul creature is represented, correctly enough, disembowelling a ... Many other strange things are said about the hyena by the Physiologus. ..."

5. The Big Game of Africa by Richard Tjader (1910)
"CHAPTER XIII hyenaS, MONKEYS, AND PIGS OF the hyena family several species exist at present, both in India and Africa. Unmistakable signs, such as, ..."

6. Nursery Tales, Traditions, and Histories of the Zulus: In Their Own Words by Henry Callaway (1868)
"Nga- IT happened once on a time that an hyena found a bone; he took it up, ... Another hyena came and took the bone, and left the other still there. ..."

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