Definition of ocelot in US English:



  • 1A medium-sized wild cat that has a tawny yellow coat marked with black blotches and spots, and ranges from southern Texas through South America.

    Felis pardalis, family Felidae

    • ‘Roadkill has knocked an endangered cat, the ocelot, down to about 80 individuals in the U.S.’
    • ‘In fact, he had a lion, an ocelot, and a boa constrictor during his playing days.’
    • ‘Clearly, bobcats could survive hunting pressures better than margays and ocelots.’
    • ‘This is an ocelot from Central and South America.’
    • ‘His property is ideal because it's next to the wildlife refuge that's home to the 100 ocelots remaining in the region.’
    • ‘He paces the bow, cramped as it is, like the caged ocelot or the little peccary leashed to a cleat.’
    • ‘I had an amazing few weeks in the rainforest with him, being shown the forest through an ocelot's eyes.’
    • ‘Near a remote salina, a brackish water hole, the tracks of ocelots and lesser anteaters dimpled the shoreline.’
    • ‘They say it's like the link between the small ocelot and the large cats like the lion and tiger.’
    • ‘She walked over to Seria, a large ocelot, who began purring as she came near.’
    • ‘For a small donation, people receive an information packet and can ‘adopt’ one of the radio-collared ocelots.’
    • ‘An ocelot has eyes on its skin, but that is purely coincidental; the word comes from the Nahuatl word ocelotl, a jaguar.’
    • ‘As Erian had said, just as the ocelot ran off into the forest the poachers came at him, four of them.’
    • ‘After about ten minutes, the little ocelot returns with two plates full of steaming meat and vegetables.’
    • ‘He doesn't have big teeth so he wouldn't be able to protect himself against eagles, jaguars, and ocelots in central South America.’
    • ‘Durst, who once nourished his profile by toting an ocelot, would sell his clubs as soon as they got popular.’
    • ‘And the black girl had been watching her with the unblinking intensity of an ocelot ever since taking her position.’
    • ‘This spring, enjoy the sound of success - the low purr of a rare ocelot kitten.’
    • ‘We estimate that fewer than 100 ocelots remain in the U.S., all in south Texas.’
    • ‘We were studying ocelots at the time and needed chickens to lure the cats into our traps.’
    1. 1.1 The fur of the ocelot.
      • ‘It is quite possible that TR, were he alive today, would be the proud owner of a gargantuan SUV with a custom interior made out of ocelot hide.’


Late 18th century: from French, from Nahuatl tlatlocelotl, literally ‘field tiger’.