Words like feline, leonine, and porcine are adjectives used to describe animal-like characteristics. They've made plenty of appearances in literature—not to mention quite a few appearances in word puzzles!
It is known that in the Prince de Conde, the aquiline nose rose out sharply and incisively from a brow slightly retreating, rather low than high, and according to the railers of the court, - a pitiless race even for genius, - constituted rather an eagle's beak than a human nose, in the heir of the illustrious princes of the house of Conde.
- Alexandre Dumas, Ten Years Later, Chapter 42
The whole scene was a unutterable mixture of comedy and pathos. The wicked wolf that for a half a day had paralyzed London and set all the children in town shivering in their shoes, was there in a sort of penitent mood, and was received and petted like a sort of vulpine prodigal son.
- Bram Stoker, Dracula, Chapter 11
This innocent vast lubber did not see any particular difference between the two facts. I liked him, for he was earnest in his work, and very valuable. And he was so fine to look at, with his broad mailed shoulders, and the grand leonine set of his plumed head, and his big shield with its quaint device of a gauntleted hand clutching a prophylactic tooth-brush, with motto: "Try Noyoudont." This was a tooth-wash that I was introducing.
- Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Chapter 20
You can search for any of the words below at Literature.org to find occurrences in literature, or at Wordie.org to see how other logophiles have used these words. I have found these words most commonly used to describe physical features, particularly of the face (e.g., vulpine face). The second-most common usage is as metaphor (e.g., leonine strength). It seems that many of the words below might only be used in a scientific or medical context (e.g., acarine disease, bovine myology, anatidaephobia ). Most of these words are based on the scientific names of the animals (e.g., cows belong to the Bovinae subfamily), although some are based on Greek words for an animal (e.g., arietine for ram, after Aries).
In general, these words are pronounced with an "INE" ending, not a "EEN" ending - they rhyme with tine, not teen. If you remember how to pronounce the more common words here, like feline and canine, you won't have any trouble with alcelaphine and cervine.
I have collected the words in this list from a variety of sources, including my own reading, word puzzles, and other websites. I question how many of the words have really made an appearance in literature, or have been created by somone adding an -ine ending to a scientific name. I mean, really - tolypeutine?
I will gladly accept additions to, or comments on, this list. Please contact me at email@example.com.
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