agouti

noun

agou·​ti ə-ˈgü-tē How to pronounce agouti (audio)
1
: any of a genus (Dasyprocta) of tropical American rodents about the size of a rabbit
2
: a grizzled color of fur resulting from the barring of each hair in several alternate dark and light bands

Illustration of agouti

Illustration of agouti
  • agouti 1

Examples of agouti in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An agouti has kind of a snout on it. A.j. Jacobs, Men's Health, 8 Mar. 2023 One key souvenir from that mating: a jackrabbit version of agouti, the gene that normally revs up its activity and turns snowshoe fur white in the winter, the researchers report today in Science. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 21 June 2018 That spring, a non-flying vulture used a gust of wind to make it out of its enclosure at the Zoo, and in July 2015, a squirrel-like agouti ducked out of its cage before being caught less than 30 minutes later. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, 30 Jan. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'agouti.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French, borrowed from Tupi akutí

Note: The form (with voiced stop) and spelling depend on French, where the word first appeared in the 16th-century reports of Brazil ("France Antarctique"): in André de Thevet's Les singularitez de la France antarctique, 1558 (agoutin) and Jean de Léry's Histoire d'un voyage faict en la terre du Bresil, 1578 (agouti); agouti was taken up in the next century by Georg Marcgrave and Willem Piso (Historia naturalis Brasiliae, 1648) and in the 18th century by Linnaeus.

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of agouti was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near agouti

Cite this Entry

“Agouti.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agouti. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

agouti

noun
agou·​ti ə-ˈgüt-ē How to pronounce agouti (audio)
1
: a tropical American rodent about the size of a rabbit
2
: a gray-streaked color of fur resulting from the barring of each hair in several alternate dark and light bands

Medical Definition

agouti

noun
agou·​ti ə-ˈgüt-ē How to pronounce agouti (audio)
1
: a rodent of the genus Dasyprocta (especially D. leporina)
2
: a grizzled color of fur resulting from the barring of each hair in several alternate dark and light bands

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