Definition of civet
noun(also civet cat)
- 1a slender nocturnal carnivorous mammal with a barred and spotted coat and well-developed anal scent glands, native to Africa and Asia.
- Family Viverridae (the civet family): several genera and species. The civet family also includes the genets, linsang, and fossa, and formerly included the mongooses.
mid 16th century: from French civette, from Italian zibetto, from medieval Latin zibethum, from Arabic zabād, denoting the perfume