1. [syn: hyena, hyaena]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.] (Zool.)
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.]
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.
Cave hyena. See under Cave.
Hyena dog (Zool.), 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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: doglike nocturnal mammal of Africa and southern Asia that
feeds chiefly on carrion [syn: hyena, hyaena]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
45 Moby Thesaurus words for "hyena":
African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, animal, anthropophagite,
barbarian, beast, brush wolf, brute, cannibal, coyote, cur,
destroyer, dingo, dog, fox, hound, insect, jackal, lobo, man-eater,
medicine wolf, mongrel, nihilist, pig, polecat, prairie wolf,
reptile, reynard, savage, serpent, shark, skunk, snake, swine,
tiger, timber wolf, vandal, varmint, vermin, viper, whelp,
wild man, wolf, worm, wrecker
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
HYENA, n. A beast held in reverence by some oriental nations from its
habit of frequenting at night the burial-places of the dead. But the
medical student does that.