Definition of caracal in English:



  • A long-legged lynx-like cat with black tufted ears and a uniform brown coat, native to Africa and western Asia.

    Also called African lynx
    • ‘We'd seen leopards and even lions run from hyenas, but the caracal stood her ground.’
    • ‘The birds are often poisoned when they pick up shreds of meat, which farmers put out to kill jackals and caracals.’
    • ‘A diary from the time indicates that lion, caracal, lynx and genet were found on the farm.’
    • ‘Besides leopards, the society claims Britain may also be home to wild pumas and other exotic felines such as lynx and caracals that have either escaped from or been deliberately released from zoos and private collections.’
    • ‘Endangered species such as the wild dog, not sighted since 1996, has reappeared here, while Sariska is also home to the elusive caracal.’


Mid 19th century: from French or Spanish, from Turkish karakulak, from kara black + kulak ear (because of its black ear tufts).