Definition of civet in English:

civet

noun

  • 1A slender nocturnal carnivorous mammal with a barred and spotted coat and well-developed anal scent glands, native to Africa and Asia.

    • ‘On behalf of all civet cats I have to register a protest.’
    • ‘On coffee plantations, palm civets dine heavily on coffee cherries.’
    • ‘The main suspect to date is the civet cat, a cat-like mammal closely related to the mongoose.’
    • ‘This includes the civet cat which is known to be a carrier of the disease.’
    • ‘So it's not a virus that every Himalayan palm civet has always had and is chronically infected with.’
    1. 1.1A strong musky perfume obtained from the secretions of the civet's scent glands.
      • ‘The secretion of these glands, called civet, is used as a perfume base and medicine..’
      • ‘Theatre became less serious and more sensational; the great national concerns gave way to domestic intrigue; the smell of cowslips and violets to musk and civet, if not in reality then in the imagery of the plays.’
      • ‘In the sixteenth century, for example, pungent animal scents such as musk and civet were very popular.’
      • ‘Silk, cotton, and velvet changed what people wore, and musk and civet altered the way that they smelt.’
      • ‘During the Renaissances strong scents of animal origin, including musk, civet and ambergris, were popular, but by the late 18th century these were consider too strong, too beastly.’
  • 2

    another term for cacomistle
    1. 2.1US The fur of the cacomistle.

Origin

Mid 16th century: from French civette, from Italian zibetto, from medieval Latin zibethum, from Arabic zabād, denoting the perfume.

Pronunciation:

civet

/ˈsivət/