any of various mongooses of SW Africa, esp. a small, grayish one (Suricata suricatta) that lives in colonies underground
Origin of meerkatAfrikaans ; from Du, name of type of monkey, literally , sea cat
A small burrowing mongoose (Suricata suricatta) of southern Africa, having brownish-gray fur and a long tail, which it uses for balance when it stands on its hind legs. Also called suricate.
Origin of meerkatAfrikaans, from Middle Dutch meercatte, monkey : meer, sea (because monkeys came from overseas); see mori- in Indo-European roots + catte, cat (from Germanic *kattuz); see cat.