Definitions for fossaˈfɒs ə; ˈfɒs i

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word fossa

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pit, fossa(noun)

    a concavity in a surface (especially an anatomical depression)

  2. Fossa, genus Fossa(noun)

    monotypic genus of Madagascar civets closely related to palm civets

  3. fossa, fossa cat, Cryptoprocta ferox(noun)

    largest carnivore of Madagascar; intermediate in some respects between cats and civets

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fossa(noun)

    a pit, groove, cavity, or depression, of greater or less depth; as, the temporal fossa on the side of the skull; the nasal fossae containing the nostrils in most birds

  2. Origin: [L., a ditch. See Fosse.]


  1. Fossa

    The fossa is a cat-like, carnivorous mammal that is endemic to Madagascar. It is a member of the Eupleridae, a family of carnivorans closely related to the mongoose family. Its classification has been controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet other traits suggest a close relationship with viverrids. Its classification, along with that of the other Malagasy carnivores, influenced hypotheses about how many times mammalian carnivores have colonized the island. With genetic studies demonstrating that the fossa and all other Malagasy carnivores are most closely related to each other, carnivorans are now thought to have colonized the island once around 18 to 20 million years ago. The fossa is the largest mammalian carnivore on the island of Madagascar and has been compared to a small cougar. Adults have a head-body length of 70–80 cm and weigh between 5.5–8.6 kg, with the males larger than the females. It has semi-retractable claws and flexible ankles that allow it to climb up and down trees head-first, and also support jumping from tree to tree. The fossa is unique within its family for the shape of its genitalia, which share traits with those of cats and hyenas.

Editors Contribution

  1. fossa

    A vital or natural hollow within the body of an animal, human or mammal.

    There are a variety of fossa within the human body e.g. cranial fossa any one of three hollows (anterior, middle, and posterior) in the base of the cranium for the lobes of the brain, popliteal fossa located at the posterior of the knee.

Images & Illustrations of fossa

Translations for fossa

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for fossa »


Find a translation for the fossa definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these fossa definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"fossa." STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for fossa? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for fossa:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.