Skunk vs. Polecat - What's the difference?

Main Difference

The main difference between Skunk and Polecat is that the Skunk is a common name of mammals in the genus Mephitidae and Polecat is a common name for several mammals.

Wikipedia

  • Skunk

    Skunks are mammals in the family Mephitidae. The animals are known for their ability to spray a liquid with a strong unpleasant smell. Different species of skunk vary in appearance from black-and-white to brown, cream or ginger colored, but all have warning coloration.

  • Polecat

    Polecat is the common name for mammals in the order Carnivora and subfamily Mustelinae. Polecats do not form a single taxonomic rank; the name is applied to several species broadly similar to European polecats, the only species native to the British Isles. In the United States, the term polecat is sometimes applied to the black-footed ferret, a native member of the Mustelinae, and (loosely) to skunks, which are only distantly related. Despite the name, polecats are more closely related to dogs than cats, which is why they belong to the suborder of Caniformiae. In Canada, the term polecat is sometimes applied to electric utility linemen.

Wiktionary

  • Skunk (noun)

    Any of various small mammals, of the family Mephitidae, native to North and Central America, having a glossy black with a white coat and two musk glands at the base of the tail for emitting a noxious smell as a defensive measure.

  • Skunk (noun)

    A despicable person.

  • Skunk (noun)

    A walkover victory in sports or board games, as when the opposing side is unable to score. Compare shutout.

  • Skunk (noun)

    A win by 30 or more points.

  • Skunk (noun)

    A member of a hybrid skinhead and punk subculture.

  • Skunk (noun)

    clipping of skunkweed|dot=marijuana.

  • Skunk (noun)

    Any of the strains of hybrids of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica that may have THC levels exceeding those of typical hashish.

  • Skunk (verb)

    To defeat so badly as to prevent any opposing points.

    "I skunked him at cards."

    "We fished all day but the lake skunked us."

  • Skunk (verb)

    To win by 30 or more points.

  • Skunk (verb)

    To go bad, to spoil.

  • Polecat (noun)

    A weasel-like animal of the genus Mustela.

  • Polecat (noun)

    A skunk.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Skunk (noun)

    a cat-sized American mammal of the weasel family, with distinctive black-and-white striped fur. When threatened it squirts a fine spray of foul-smelling irritant liquid from its anal glands towards its attacker.

  • Skunk (noun)

    the fur of the skunk.

  • Skunk (noun)

    a contemptible person

    "he'd run up a massive phone bill and hadn't paid—the skunk"

  • Skunk (noun)

    short for skunkweed

  • Skunk (verb)

    defeat (someone) overwhelmingly in a game or contest, especially by preventing them from scoring at all

    "I knew he was a good fisherman, but I didn't expect him to skunk you"

  • Skunk (verb)

    fail to pay (a bill or creditor)

    "he made a practice of skunking hotels"

  • Polecat (noun)

    a weasel-like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for its fetid smell.

  • Polecat (noun)

    another term for skunk

Webster Dictionary

  • Skunk (noun)

    Any one of several species of American musteline carnivores of the genus Mephitis and allied genera. They have two glands near the anus, secreting an extremely fetid liquid, which the animal ejects at pleasure as a means of defense.

  • Skunk

    In games of chance and skill: To defeat (an opponent) (as in cards) so that he fails to gain a point, or (in checkers) to get a king.

  • Polecat (noun)

    A small European carnivore of the Weasel family (Putorius fœtidus). Its scent glands secrete a substance of an exceedingly disagreeable odor. Called also fitchet, foulmart, and European ferret.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Skunk (noun)

    a person who is deemed to be despicable or contemptible;

    "only a rotter would do that"

    "kill the rat"

    "throw the bum out"

    "you cowardly little pukes!"

    "the British call a contemptible person a `git'"

  • Skunk (noun)

    a defeat in a game where one side fails to score

  • Skunk (noun)

    street names for marijuana

  • Skunk (noun)

    American musteline mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled; in some classifications put in a separate subfamily Mephitinae

  • Skunk (verb)

    defeat by a lurch

  • Polecat (noun)

    American musteline mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled; in some classifications put in a separate subfamily Mephitinae

  • Polecat (noun)

    dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened

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