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polecat (n.)

early 14c., from cat (n.); the first element is perhaps Anglo-French pol, from Old French poule "fowl, hen" (see pullet (n.)); so called because it preys on poultry [Klein]. The other alternative is that the first element is from Old French pulent "stinking." Originally the European Putorius foetidus; also applied to related U.S. skunks since 1680s.

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Definitions of polecat from WordNet

polecat (n.)
American musteline mammal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled; in some classifications put in a separate subfamily Mephitinae;
Synonyms: skunk / wood pussy
polecat (n.)
dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened;
Synonyms: fitch / foulmart / foumart / Mustela putorius
From wordnet.princeton.edu