From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. A substance of a reddish brown colour, and when fresh of the consistence of honey, obtained from a bag being behind the navel of the male musk deer. It has a slightly bitter taste, but is specially remarkable for its powerful and enduring odour. It is used in medicine as a stimulant antispasmodic. The term is also applied to secretions of various other animals, having a similar odour.

2. (Science: zoology) The musk deer. See Musk deer (below).

3. The perfume emitted by musk, or any perfume somewhat similar.

4. (Science: botany) The musk plant (Mimulus moschatus). A plant of the genus Erodium (E. Moschatum); called also musky heron's-bill.

A plant of the genus Muscari; grape hyacinth. Musk beaver, a small American fresh water tortoise (Armochelys, or Ozotheca, odorata), which has a distinct odour of musk; called also stinkpot.

Origin: F. Musc, L. Muscus, Per. Musk, fr. Skr. Mushka testicle, orig, a little mouse. See Mouse, and cd. Abelmosk, Muscadel, Muscovy duck, Nutmeg.