[Fr. raton, a little rat.] A carnivorous animal of the Bear family inhabiting North America. Its body is gray, varied with black and white. The average length of the raccoon is about two feet from the nose to the tail, and the tail is about ten inches long. The head Somewhat resembles that of the fox. It feeds chiefly by night, keeping in its hole during the day, except in dull weather. One of the marked peculiarities 0f the common species, procyon lolor, and on which its specific name (lotor, from L. lavare, to wash) is founded, is its habit of plunging its dry food into water before eating it. Its fur is valuable, particularly in the manufacture of hats.