noun, plural ser·vals, (especially collectively) ser·val.
- a long-limbed, nocturnal African cat, Felis serval, about the size of a bobcat, having a tawny coat spotted with black: now rare in many former habitats.
noun plural -vals or -val
- a slender feline mammal, Felis serval, of the African bush, having an orange-brown coat with black spots, large ears, and long legs
n.African wild cat, 1771, from Modern Latin serval, French serval (Buffon, 1765), from Portuguese (lobo) cerval “lynx,” from Latin lupus cervarius (cf. French loup cervier) “lynx,” literally “wolf that hunts the stag,” from cervarius “pertaining to a stag,” from cervus “stag” (see horn (n.)).