Etymology
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panda (n.)

1835, in reference to a carnivorous raccoon-like mammal (the lesser panda) of the Himalayas, from French, apparently from the Nepalese name of the animal. The first reference in English to the Giant Panda is from 1901; since its discovery in 1869 by French missionary Armand David (1826-1900) it had been known as parti-colored bear, but the name was changed after the zoological relationship to the red panda was established.

updated on December 23, 2019

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Definitions of panda from WordNet

panda (n.)
large black-and-white herbivorous mammal of bamboo forests of China and Tibet; in some classifications considered a member of the bear family or of a separate family Ailuropodidae;
Synonyms: giant panda / panda bear / coon bear / Ailuropoda melanoleuca
panda (n.)
reddish-brown Old World raccoon-like carnivore; in some classifications considered unrelated to the giant pandas;
Synonyms: lesser panda / red panda / bear cat / cat bear / Ailurus fulgens
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.