Definition of chevrotain in English:

chevrotain

Pronunciation /ˈSHevrəˌtān/ /ˈʃɛvrəˌteɪn/

noun

  • A small deerlike mammal with short tusks, typically nocturnal and found in the tropical rainforests of Africa and southern Asia.

    Also called mouse deer

    Family Tragulidae: genera Moschiola (one Asian species), Tragulus (two Asian species), and Hyemoschus (one African species)

    ‘Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.’
    • ‘In the Duala headdresses, the animal is an antelope, perhaps the African water chevrotain that was once common in the Delta and the Wouri estuary.’
    • ‘The parallel antelope masking forms of the Ijebu Agbo society are associated with a water spirit of Ijo derivation based on the African water chevrotain.’

Origin

Late 18th century from French, diminutive of Old French chevrot, diminutive of chèvre ‘goat’.