brown rat

noun

Definition of brown rat

: a common domestic rat (Rattus norvegicus) that has been introduced worldwide

called also Norway rat

Examples of brown rat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pack rats, as well as their cousins the black and brown rats, don’t just collect sticks and seeds. Sadie Witkowski, Smithsonian, "From Ancient Seeds to Scraps of Clothing, Rats’ Nests Are Full of Treasures," 15 Nov. 2019 For comparison purposes, the modern brown rat is less than one foot in length and weighs approximately 8 ounces. Fox News, "Fossils of prehistoric human-sized rat that weighed nearly 200 pounds and had massive teeth discovered in South America," 15 Feb. 2020 The dominant rat in New York City is the Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus, also known as the brown rat. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 Rattus norvegicus - the brown rat - is a destructive force in much of the world, wreaking ecological havoc, contaminating crops, vandalizing property and spreading as many as 35 diseases. Author: Amanda Coletta, Anchorage Daily News, "Alberta, Canada: Rat-free for 70 years," 28 Sep. 2019 Black rats weigh in at 4½ ounces and grow up to 5 to 6 inches long; adult brown rats weigh 9 to 10 ounces and reach up to 16 inches. oregonlive.com, "Follow these tips to keep rats out of homes and gardens," 27 Aug. 2019 Black rats weigh in at 41/2 ounces and grow up to 5 to 6 inches long; adult brown rats weigh 9 to 10 ounces and reach up to 16 inches. Kym Pokorny, OregonLive.com, "'It's a bad year for rats' in Oregon cities: Here's how to fight them," 13 Feb. 2018 In our study, the commonest wild animal detected in New York City waters was the brown rat, a common urban denizen. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brown rat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of brown rat

1737, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brown rat

Time Traveler for brown rat

Time Traveler

The first known use of brown rat was in 1737

See more words from the same year

Statistics for brown rat

Cite this Entry

“Brown rat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brown%20rat. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brown rat

brown rat

noun

Medical Definition of brown rat

: a common domestic rat of the genus Rattus (R. norvegicus) that has been introduced worldwide

called also Norway rat

More from Merriam-Webster on brown rat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about brown rat

Comments on brown rat

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!