Definition of desman in English:

desman

noun

  • A small semiaquatic European mammal related to the mole, with a long tubular muzzle and webbed toes.

    • ‘Moles are from the family Talpidae which includes moles, desmans, and shrew-moles.’
    • ‘Primarily an insectivore, the desman's diet consists of aquatic insects and their larvae, along with snails and small, slow-moving fish, which are attracted to its trenches by the musk smell and aerated water it leaves in its wake.’
    • ‘Trunk and limb proportions of early middle Eocene Rodhocetus are most similar to those of the living, highly aquatic, foot-powered desmans.’
    • ‘The family Talpidae consists of moles and desmans; currently, its approximately 42 species are grouped into 17 genera.’
    • ‘Reserves were created to save critical habitat for endangered species such as the Siberian tiger, saiga antelope, Russian desman and black stork.’

Origin

Late 18th century: via French and German from Swedish desman-råtta muskrat, from desman musk.

Pronunciation:

desman

/ˈdɛzmən/