ca·​vy | \ˈkā-vē \
plural cavies

Definition of cavy 

: any of several short-tailed rough-haired South American rodents (family Caviidae) especially : guinea pig

Examples of cavy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For now, the zoo's all-male group will remain the only cavies onsite. Jennifer Larino,, "What's a cavy? You can now see 3 of them at the Audubon Zoo," 22 May 2018 By comparison, the cavy is the world's fourth largest rodent and can weigh up to 20 pounds. Jennifer Larino,, "What's a cavy? You can now see 3 of them at the Audubon Zoo," 22 May 2018 Temperate Forest: To the east is the 25-foot-high treehouse that will be accessible to the handicapped and an exhibit on coatis (a member of the raccoon family) and Patagonian cavies (a rodent that resembles a cross between a rabbit and a deer). Roger Showley,, "$30M record gift will jumpstart a new Children's Zoo, opening in 2021," 12 Jan. 2018 Other animal shows and displays feature dogs and miniature horses, Sept. 1-4; Animals of the World, Sept. 7-13; pygmy goats, Sept. 21-24; and rabbits and cavies, Sept. 10-14. Madeline Mckenzie, The Seattle Times, "New features add to fun at Washington State Fair in Puyallup," 30 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of cavy

1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cavy

New Latin Cavia, genus name, from obsolete Portuguese çavia (now sauiá) the spiny rat Makalata (Echimys) armata, from Tupi saujá

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The first known use of cavy was in 1796

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More Definitions for cavy


ca·​vy | \ˈkā-vē \
plural cavies

Medical Definition of cavy 

: any of several short-tailed South American rodents (family Caviidae) especially : guinea pig

More from Merriam-Webster on cavy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cavy Encyclopedia article about cavy

Comments on cavy

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


a nest or breeding place

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