chin·​chil·​la | \ chin-ˈchi-lə How to pronounce chinchilla (audio) \

Definition of chinchilla

1 : either of two small South American rodents (Chinchilla laniger and C. brevicaudata of the family Chinchillidae) of the high Andes that are the size of large squirrels, have very soft pearly-gray fur, and are extensively bred in captivity also : the fur of a chinchilla
2 : a heavy twilled woolen coating

Illustration of chinchilla

Illustration of chinchilla

Examples of chinchilla in a Sentence

The collar of the coat is chinchilla.
Recent Examples on the Web From Gucci loafers from the ’70s and a pair of metallic sandals from Charles Jourdan to a luxe swing coat with a chinchilla fur collar, Cassis-Shaw has curated a thoughtful collection of some of the best vintage styles in the annals of fashion. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Online Consignment Sites to Score Vintage Fashion," 5 Jan. 2021 Time will tell if the chinchilla relocation project pays conservation dividends in turn. Popular Science, "How 25 chinchillas could save a mountain," 20 Oct. 2020 And management dutifully handed the winning couple a 2-month-old chinchilla. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "How a 1960s publicity stunt landed a baby elephant named Annabelle in Alaska," 7 Dec. 2020 It was inspired by a cashmere robe with real chinchilla trim that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Luzanne Otte, Town & Country, "Southern Charm's Patricia Altschul Has Launched a Home Essentials Collection at HSN," 30 Nov. 2020 During a blip in time in the late Jurassic, a dinosaur that weighed no more than a chinchilla flung itself from tree to tree, spread its wings and tried to soar. Sabrina Imbler New York Times, Star Tribune, "These Winged Dinosaurs Hurtled Through the Trees like Haywire Hang Gliders," 8 Nov. 2020 Operation chinchilla will hardly have the drama of an elephant capture. Popular Science, "How 25 chinchillas could save a mountain," 20 Oct. 2020 The pet cemetery in her yard includes such longtime library favorites as Basil the chinchilla and Nilla the ferret. al, "Birmingham Library animals go on furlough with staff," 25 Sep. 2020 Nothing the staff normally used — Dawn dish soap, chinchilla dust, chemical solvents — could get it off. Karina Bland, azcentral, "With more people outdoors, wildlife center sees an influx of rescued animals," 5 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chinchilla.' 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 chinchilla

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chinchilla


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Time Traveler for chinchilla

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The first known use of chinchilla was in 1604

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Cite this Entry

“Chinchilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chinchilla



English Language Learners Definition of chinchilla

: a small South American animal that has soft gray fur
: the fur of a chinchilla


chin·​chil·​la | \ chin-ˈchi-lə How to pronounce chinchilla (audio) \

Kids Definition of chinchilla

: a South American animal that is a rodent resembling a squirrel and is often raised for its soft silvery gray fur

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