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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Kinkajou \Kin"ka*jou`\, n. [F. kinkajou, quincajou, from the native American name.] (Zo["o]l.) A nocturnal carnivorous mammal ( Cercoleptes caudivolvulus) of South America, about as large as a full-grown cat. It has a prehensile tail and lives in trees. It is the only representative of a distinct family ( Cercoleptid[ae]) allied to the raccoons. Called also potto, and honey bear.


n. 1 A small primate, (taxlink Perodicticus potto species noshow=1), native to the tropical rainforests of Africa. (from 18th c.) 2 (context now rare English) The kinkajou. (from 18th c.)

  1. n. arboreal fruit-eating mammal of tropical America with a long prehensile tail [syn: kinkajou, honey bear, Potos flavus, Potos caudivolvulus]

  2. a kind of lemur [syn: kinkajou, Perodicticus potto]


The potto (Perodicticus potto) is a strepsirrhine primate of the family Lorisidae. It is the only species in the genus Perodicticus. It is also known as Bosman's potto, after Willem Bosman who described the species in 1704. In some English-speaking parts of Africa, it is called a "softly-softly".

Potto (disambiguation)

Potto may refer to:

  • Any of the following closely related primates:
    • Potto (Perodicticus potto)
    • Golden pottos (Arctocebus sp.)
    • False potto (Pseudopotto martini)
  • the kinkajou (Potos flavus), an unrelated species
  • Potto, North Yorkshire
  • Potto Brown, an English miller and philanthropist

Usage examples of "potto".

I reflected upon the variety of vegetables and animals, of the very real possibility of a potto, and soon recovered my native ebullience.

The potto is the most interesting of the primates, from the anatomical point of view.

Adanson saw and dissected the potto, and I fairly long to have the same happiness.

Everything had gone except these books and papers and the potto, which the people of all the nations in Whydah, even the Hausas, suspected of being a Roman fetiso, which might offend the local spirits.

The drawings were painstaking, inexpert representations of the potto in different attitudes, tailless, anxious.

At about sunset she came out, looking nervous to be sure, as any country potto might in new surroundings, but neither shattered nor terrified.

It was the skeleton, very delicately dissected and reassembled, of his potto, a rare and curious little West African creature, nominally one of the primates, though quiet, slow, harmless, and remarkably affectionate.

It was no doubt my tailless potto, one of the most interesting of the primates: but alas short-lived.

In more liberal company Sir Joseph might have spoken of the paper on pottos, with particular reference to their anomalous phalanges, that Dr Maturin had read to the Royal Society and the sensation it had caused among those capable both of hearing what he said and of appreciating the full import of what they heard: in the present circumstances he carried straight on.

He was reflecting upon the delightful possibilities - the West African eagle-owl, the blue plantain-eater, the many brilliant weavers and sun-birds, conceivably even the potto, when he heard the cry 'All hands to weigh anchor,' an expected order that was instantly followed by the bosun's call and the powerful voices of his mates roaring 'All hands to weigh anchor' down the hatchways, and he hurried off to be out of the way: well did he know the frightful eagerness and activity set off by this corninand - the swarms of men racing across the deck regardless of those who might be in their path, the cries, the stretching forth of ropes.