any of various wolflike carnivores (family Hyaenidae) of Africa and Asia, with powerful jaws, a bristly mane, short hind legs, and a characteristic shrill cry suggestive of laughter: hyenas are hunters and scavengers
Origin of hyenaClassical Latin hyaena from Classical Greek hyaina, hyena, literally , sow (so called from its hoglike mane) from hys, a hog (+ -aina, feminine suffix) from Indo-European base an unverified form s?-, hog from source swine
Any of several carnivorous mammals of the family Hyaenidae of Africa and Asia, which feed as scavengers and have powerful jaws, relatively short hind limbs, and coarse hair.
Origin of hyenaMiddle English hiene, hiena from Old French hiene and Medieval Latin hiena both from Latin hyaena from Greek huaina hūs, hu- swine (in reference to the hyena's bristly mane like a hog's) ; see sū- in Indo-European roots. -aina pejorative feminine n. suffix
(plural hyenas or hyena or hyenae)