One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large American wild cat with a plain tawny to greyish coat, found from Canada to Patagonia.
- ‘I didn't think anything of it at the time but there were grizzly bears, cougars and who knows what else.’
- ‘The island is home to few natural predators (the occasional cougar or midget black bear).’
- ‘Grizzly bears, cougars, owls, woodland caribou and elk live there.’
- ‘This was not an African lion but an American mountain lion also known as a cougar or puma, a cat the size of a leopard that was once rare and considered virtually harmless.’
- ‘In 2001, two weeks after the state had announced that a few wild cougars might be present, a run-in between car and cougar provided wildlife officials with the first tangible evidence of the cat's existence.’
- ‘I've trudged through waist deep snow up an Idaho mountain after a cougar.’
- ‘Its not unusual for people to see bears, and even cougars, on Burnaby Mountain.’
- ‘Since the early 1990s, researchers have been applying the technique to spectacled bears, cougars, foxes, pine martens, chimpanzees, gorillas, and many other species.’
- ‘Their predators include great horned owls, bobcats, cougars, coyotes, and foxes, so wariness is in their blood.’
- ‘Borrowing a method used to study human demographics, he and his colleagues took samples from 352 cougars in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States and Canada.’
- ‘But except for the Florida felines, as far as one can tell, wild cougars no longer live east of the Mississippi.’
- ‘Except for mating pairs, or mothers with kittens, cougars travel alone, hunting roughly a deer a week to survive.’
- ‘Over the past 18 months the Cougar Network has documented 21 cougars in nine midwestern U.S. states and one Canadian province.’
- ‘A bobcat is another wild cat, about half the size of a cougar, with a stubby tail rather than a long one.’
- ‘Central to this proposition is the recovery of existing top predators such as grizzlies, cougars, and wolves.’
- ‘In Lake County there have been several sightings of a cougar or mountain lion.’
- ‘Knowing how and where cougars travel and thrive is important to maintaining a healthy cougar population, experts say.’
- ‘The massive stone avalanche fell on the scurrying cougar, and forced the big cat to take refuge in the canyon.’
- ‘When Europeans settled South Dakota they considered cougars dangerous pests.’
- ‘She was the only cougar that lived in the Endless Woods, because cougars were extremely rare in those parts.’
2informal An older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.
- ‘I'm much more relaxed if a girl starts the conversation, and usually only cougars will go and hit on guys.’
- ‘I met a few cougars at the Baron on Main on Friday night.’
- ‘And with the greater power and freedom that today's women enjoy, cougars are becoming an increasingly common phenomenon.’
- ‘It would seem that Brad's mom Paula (Sissy Spacek, Carrie) is also quite the cougar.’
- ‘She's easily 20 years older than you but she's drinking a Shirley Temple and she's pretty tarted-up, pretty hot - a bona fide cougar.’
Late 18th century: from French couguar, abbreviation of modern Latin cuguarcarana, from Guarani guaçuarana.
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