Definition of chevrotain in English:



  • A small deer-like mammal with small tusks, typically nocturnal and found in the tropical rainforests of Africa and southern Asia.

    Also called mouse deer
    • ‘The parallel antelope masking forms of the Ijebu Agbo society are associated with a water spirit of Ijo derivation based on the African water chevrotain.’
    • ‘Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.’
    • ‘In the Duala headdresses, the animal is an antelope, perhaps the African water chevrotain that was once common in the Delta and the Wouri estuary.’


Late 18th century: from French, diminutive of Old French chevrot, diminutive of chèvre goat.