Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

hamster

play
noun ham·ster \ˈham(p)-stər\

Simple Definition of hamster

  • : a small animal that is often kept as a pet

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of hamster

  1. :  any of a subfamily (Cricetinae) of small Old World rodents having very large cheek pouches

Origin and Etymology of hamster

German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin; akin to Old Russian choměstorŭ hamster, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan hamaēstar- oppressor


First Known Use: 1607


HAMSTER Defined for Kids

hamster

play
noun ham·ster \ˈham-stər\

Definition of hamster for Students

  1. :  a stocky rodent with a short tail and large cheek pouches




Medical Dictionary

hamster

play
noun ham·ster \ˈham(p)-stər\

Medical Definition of hamster

  1. :  any of numerous Old World rodents (Cricetus or a related genus) having very large cheek pouches and including several used as laboratory animals





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hamster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

articulated in the throat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

august-macke-lady-in-a-green-jacket

Which of these is a synonym of namby-pamby?

lithe insipid insightful energetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ