Definitions for fossaˈfɒs ə; ˈfɒs i

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fos•saˈfɒs ə; ˈfɒs i(n.)(pl.)fos•sae

  1. a pit, cavity, or depression, as in a bone.

    Category: Anatomy

Origin of fossa:

1820–30; < L: ditch, fosse, short for fossa (terra) dug or dug out (earth), n. use of fem. of fossus, ptp. of fodere to dig

fos•saˈfɒs ə(n.)(pl.)-sas.

  1. a large viverrid carnivore, Cryptoprocta ferox, of Madagascar. Also called fos′sa cat`.

    Category: Common Vocabulary, Mammals

Origin of fossa:

1830–40; < Malagasy

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


  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.

Anagrams of fossa

  1. Sofas

Translations for fossa

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a low part between two waves (in the sea etc)

The boat went down into a trough.

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:


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


"fossa." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for fossa?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for fossa: