Hyena Hy*e"na, n.; pl. {Hyenas}. [L. hyaena, Gr. ?, orig., a sow, but usually, a Libyan wild beast, prob., the hyena, fr. ? hog: cf. F. hy[`e]ne. See {Sow} female hog.] (Zo["o]l.) Any carnivorous mammal of the family {Hy[ae]nid[ae]}, doglike nocturnal mammals of Africa and southern Asia, of which three living species are known. They are large and strong, but cowardly. They feed chiefly on carrion, and are nocturnal in their habits. [Written also {hy[ae]na}.]

Syn: hyaena. [1913 Webster]

Note: The striped hyena ({Hy[ae]na striata}) inhabits Southern Asia and a large part of Africa. The brown hyena ({Hy[ae]na brunnea}), and the spotted hyena ({Crocuta maculata}), are found in Southern Africa. The extinct cave hyena ({Hy[ae]na spel[ae]a}) inhabited England and France. [1913 Webster]

{Cave hyena}. See under {Cave}.

{Hyena dog} (Zo["o]l.), a South African canine animal ({Lycaon venaticus}), which hunts in packs, chiefly at night. It is smaller than the common wolf, with very large, erect ears, and a bushy tail. Its color is reddish or yellowish brown, blotched with black and white. Called also {hunting dog}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • HYENA — (Heb. צָבוֹעַ), mammal. The striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena (striata) is found in Israel, the spotted species inhabiting Africa. One of the largest carnivores in Israel, its body length averages 109 cm and its average weight is 70 lbs (32 kg.), but… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • hyena — (also hyaena) ► NOUN ▪ a doglike carnivorous African mammal with long forelimbs and an erect mane. ORIGIN Greek huaina female pig (probably because of the resemblance of the hyena s mane to a hog s bristles) …   English terms dictionary

  • hyena — [hī ē′nə] n. [L hyaena < Gr hyaina, hyena, lit., sow (so called from its hoglike mane) < hys, a hog (+ aina, fem. suffix) < IE base * sū , hog > SWINE] any of various wolflike carnivores (family Hyaenidae) of Africa and Asia, with… …   English World dictionary

  • hyena — mid 14c., from O.Fr. hiene, from L. hyaena, from Gk. hyaina swine (fem.), from hys pig + fem. suffix aina. So called for its bristles. Applied to cruel, treacherous, and greedy persons since at least 1670s. Adjectival forms that have been… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hyena — is spelt e , not (as formerly) ae , and has the plural form hyenas …   Modern English usage

  • Hyena — This article is about the family of animals. For other uses, see Hyena (disambiguation). Hyenas Temporal range: 26–0 Ma …   Wikipedia

  • hyena — hyenic, hyenine /huy ee nuyn, nin/, adj. /huy ee neuh/, n. a doglike carnivore of the family Hyaenidae, of Africa, southwestern Asia, and south central Asia, having a coarse coat, a sloping back, and large teeth and feeding chiefly on carrion,… …   Universalium

  • hyena — /haɪˈinə / (say huy eenuh) noun 1. any of three mainly nocturnal carnivores of the family Hyaenidae, having massive jaws for crushing bones, as the striped hyena, Hyaena hyaena, of Africa and Asia, a solitary scavenger, the brown hyena, H.… …  

  • hyena — n. 1) a brown; laughing; spotted; striped hyena 2) a clan, pack of hyenas * * * [haɪ iːnə] laughing pack of hyenas spotted striped hyena a brown a clan …   Combinatory dictionary

  • hyena — UK [haɪˈiːnə] / US [haɪˈɪnə] noun [countable] Word forms hyena : singular hyena plural hyenas a wild animal similar to a dog that lives mainly in Africa and makes a noise that sounds like laughing …   English dictionary

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