• WordNet 3.6
    • n hyena doglike nocturnal mammal of Africa and southern Asia that feeds chiefly on carrion
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Hyenas can comsume prey carrying anthrax without contracting the disease itself
    • n Hyena (Zoöl) Any carnivorous mammal of the family Hyænidæ, 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.☞ The striped hyena (Hyæna striata) inhabits Southern Asia and a large part of Africa. The brown hyena (Hyæna brunnea), and the spotted hyena (Crocuta maculata), are found in Southern Africa. The extinct cave hyena (Hyæna spelæa) inhabited England and France.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The female spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) has a 'penis'.
    • n hyena A carnivorous quadruped of the genus Hyæna or family Hyænidæ. There are several kinds of hyenas. The common striped or laughing hyena, Canis hyæna or Hyæna striata, known to the ancients as a wild beast of Libya, has long been celebrated for the great size and strength of its neck and jaws, its formidable teeth, its prowling nocturnal habits, its singular voice, and its propensity for robbing graves. It has a wide geographical distribution, including most of Africa and much of Asia, as Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, and India. It is an unsightly animal of ferocious aspect, of the size of a large dog, with shaggy pelage bristling over the shoulders, a short bushy tail, large eyes and ears, thick blunt muzzle, and peculiar carriage, due to the low hind quarters, high shoulders, and long heavy neck. Its feet are digitigrade, with blunt non-retractile claws. Its color is brownish-gray, more or less distinctly and extensively banded or striped crosswise with black on the back, sides, and limbs. The animal is nocturnal, hiding by day in caves, and hunting by night in packs for its food, which is chiefly carrion, though it often preys upon living animals. It is not less cowardly than ravenous, but is capable of being tamed and even domesticated. The brown hyena, H. brunnea, inhabits southern Africa; it belongs to the same restricted genus as the striped hyena, but is mostly of a dark-brown color, banded only on the limbs, and the pelage is remarkably long and shaggy, growing to a length of 8 or 10 inches on the back and sides. The spotted hyena, H. crocuta or Crocuta maculata, is a more distinct species, generically different from either of the foregoing, inhabiting southern parts of Africa. As its name implies, it is spotted instead of striped; and it is rather smaller than H. striata, and has a less shaggy pelage. In this species the length of the neck, size of the head, shortness of the loins, and lowness of the hind quarters are specially notable. The cave-hyena, H. spelæus, is an extinct form closely related to the spotted hyena: its remains occur in caverns. There are also other fossils to which the name hyena has been applied, and the hyena-dog is called painted hyena.
    • n hyena The pouched dog, the thylacine dasyure of Tasmania, Thylacinus cynocephalus: so called from its predaceous and carnivorous habits. See zebra-wolf.
    • n hyena Also spelled hyæna.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Hyenas regularly eat the feces of other animals
    • n Hyena a bristly-maned quadruped of the dog kind, so named from its likeness to the sow
    • n Hyena hī-ē′na (Shak.) a hyæna.
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  • D. H. Lawrence
    “There's always the hyena of morality at the garden gate, and the real wolf at the end of the street.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. hyaena, Gr. , orig., a sow, but usually, a Libyan wild beast, prob., the hyena, fr. hog: cf. F. hyène,. See Sow female hog


In literature:

Like a laughing hyena with the toothache.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Face like a tortured hyena.
"If Winter Don't" by Barry Pain
And woe to the wolf or hyena when the mother returns!
"The Wonders of the Jungle, Book Two" by Prince Sarath Ghosh
What peace is there between the hyena and the dog?
"Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature" by Various
One of those beautiful hyenas.
"The Kopje Garrison" by George Manville Fenn
We pulled out our spears and left him to the jackals and hyenas.
"The Cave Twins" by Lucy Fitch Perkins
His eyes gleamed like a caged hyena's, full of hatred for Daoud.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
You know they belong to the dog family, just as the wolf and jackal and hyena do.
"The Banner Boy Scouts Snowbound" by George A. Warren
The hyena is a strange-looking beast.
"Harper's Young People, May 11, 1880" by Various
Secession would for centuries have bred and raised only formidable social hyenas.
"Diary from March 4, 1861, to November 12, 1862" by Adam Gurowski

In poetry:

Over the graveyard in the water
Mountains and galleries beneath
Nightingale and hyena
Rejoicing for that drifting death
"Ballad Of The Long-Legged Bait" by Dylan Thomas
There once was a happy Hyena
Who played on an old concertina.
He dressed very well,
And in his lapel
He carelessly stuck a verbena.
"The Happy Hyena" by Carolyn Wells
I looked into my heart to write
And found a desert there.
But when I looked again I heard
Howling and proud in every word
The hyena despair.
"Summer Song" by George Barker
And oh, remember the indignant press;
Honey is bitter to its fond caress,
But the black venom that its hate lets fall
Would shame to sweetness the hyena's gall!
"Astraea: The Balance Of Illusions" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
He would joke with hyenas, returning their stare
With an impudent wag of the head:
And he once went a walk, paw-in-paw, with a bear,
"Just to keep up its spirits," he said.
"The Hunting Of The Snark " by Lewis Carroll
At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,
Through the triumph of his dream.
"The Slave's Dream" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In news:

ON my first night in my first game reserve on my first trip to Africa, I thought I'd fall asleep to the sounds of lions, elephants, maybe a hyena.
Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet Husky Hyena.
OBSERVER Kay E Holekamp of Michigan State University has been chronicling the lives of spotted hyenas in Kenya, linking brain size to sociability .
Unlike the famed Warner Brothers cartoon version, the real Tasmanian devil is a small, hyena-like marsupial with a haunting hiss—a sound "like that of a woman being strangled," in the phrase of Tasmanian novelist Richard Flanagan.
Hyena at Sacramento Zoo dies.
Tyler police say the attacks happened around 2 am Monday at the Hyena clubhouse.
Tyler police say the attacks happened around 2 am Monday at the Hyena clubhouse .
The identification of the two victims who were shot at the Hyena Club and their condition are as follows.
Who'd have thought that hyenas could turn into lambs.
Fatal shooting at the Hyena Club in Tyler.
INTERVIEWS The Very Best on Hanging with Hyenas and Ezra Koenig.
Hundreds of music fans headed out to SoundDiego LIVE at Firehouse PB on Thursday to hear Inspired Flight and Hyena's beats.
Hundreds turned out at the beach to hear Inspired Flight and Hyena's beats.
As Ethopian Christians give up meat and dairy for Lent , hyenas are forced to switch from scavenging to hunting, a new study has found.
A hyena roams the open plains of Kenya's Maasai Mara game reserve.

In science:

GR and QM to a cogent (ie, a conceptually sound, mathematically consistent, as well as calculationally finite) QG, seem to this author to be like trying to cross a parrot with a hyena: so that it (:QG) can tel l us what it is laughing about.
`Iconoclastic', Categorical Quantum Gravity
Ma jor predators of zebra, buf falo, kongoni, toki and Thomson’s gazelle are hyena, wild dog, lion, leopard and cheetas.
Switching model with two habitats and a predator involving group defence