n. pl. des·mans
Either of two aquatic, insectivorous, molelike mammals, Desmana moschata of eastern Europe and western Asia or Galemys pyrenaicus of southwest Europe, having dense brownish fur, a long snout, and a flattened scaly tail.
[Short for Swedish desmanråtta, muskrat : desman, musk (from Middle Low German desem, from Medieval Latin bisamum, of Semitic origin; see bśm in the Appendix of Semitic roots) + råtta, rat.]
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