"a cougar, a large American feline quadruped," 1777, from Spanish puma, from Quechua (Inca) puma.
1660s as a shortening of cat-o'-mountain (1610s), from cat of the mountain (mid-15c.), a name aplied to various large wild cats of the Old World. From 1794 in reference to the lynx, puma, or cougar of the United States and Canada.
mid-13c., panter, another name for the leopard, from Old French pantere "panther" (12c.) and directly from Latin panthera, from Greek panther "panther, leopard," probably of Oriental origin. An ancient folk-etymology derivation from Greek pan- "all" + thēr "beast" led to many curious fables. The word was applied to the American cougar or puma by 1730.
large cat peculiar to the Americas, 1774, from French couguar, Buffon's adaption (influenced by jaguar) of a word the Portuguese picked up in Brazil as çuçuarana, perhaps from Tupi susuarana, from suasu "deer" + rana "false." Another proposed source is Guarani guaçu ara. Evidently the cedillas dropped off the word before Buffon got it. The cat also goes by the names puma, panther, mountain lion, and catamount.
Slang sense of "older woman (35-plus) who seeks younger males as sex partners" is attested by 2002; said in some sources to have originated in Canada, probably from some reference to predatory feline nature.
"natural elevation rising more or less abruptly and attaining a conspicuous height," c. 1200, from Old French montaigne (Modern French montagne), from Vulgar Latin *montanea "mountain, mountain region," noun use of fem. of *montaneus "of a mountain, mountainous," from Latin montanus "mountainous, of mountains," from mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project").
Until 18c., applied to a fairly low elevation if it was prominent (such as Sussex Downs or the hills around Paris); compare hill (n.). As an adjective, "of or situated on a mountain," from late 14c.
Mountain dew "raw and inferior whiskey" is attested by 1839; earlier a type of Scotch whiskey (1816); Jamieson's 1825 "Supplement" to his Scottish dictionary defines it specifically as "A cant term for Highland whisky that has paid no duty." Mountain-climber is recorded from 1839; mountain-climbing from 1836. Mountain laurel is from 1754; mountain-lion "puma" is from 1849, American English; the mountain goat of the Western U.S. is so called by 1841 (by 1827 as Rocky Mountain goat).