chinchilla

noun

chin·​chil·​la chin-ˈchi-lə How to pronounce chinchilla (audio)
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 There were also pictures of their young son holding his chinchilla, petting a horse and hanging out on a houseboat with his friend. Gina Kaufman, Detroit Free Press, 2 Feb. 2024 In early December, the Lancaster County Animal Shelter had 50 cats, 40 dogs and one chinchilla. Vanessa Infanzon, Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024 The traditional dress of the Kazakh eagle hunters can be glimpsed in the hooded down jacket made from chinchilla and cashmere blend with fox-fur trim, while the red and saffron hues of monks’ robes appear in scarves and sweaters. Jen Murphy, Robb Report, 21 Jan. 2024 Both Alexanders died on the steamer, but Tommy was eventually returned to relatives in the Vancouver area. Ask a historian David Reamer writes about Anchorage history, from murders and neighborhoods to churches and chinchillas. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2023 Three, the chinchilla children are home-schooled, and the father, Chum Chum, is their instructor. Amanda Hess, New York Times, 18 Dec. 2023 A little gray chinchilla hops down from its tower of power and approaches. Jackson Landers, SPIN, 8 June 2023 Customers can purchase food for the animals (and bottled drinks for themselves) and hang out with as many as 40 cats, which mingle with the other animals — rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, dogs and, once, a chinchilla — that are all up for adoption. Abby Ellin, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2023 For lack of a better option, both were placed in the columbarium, two more Does for the cemetery, and another story waiting to be told. Ask a historian David Reamer writes about Anchorage history, from murders and neighborhoods to churches and chinchillas. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chinchilla.' 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

Spanish

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chinchilla was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near chinchilla

Cite this Entry

“Chinchilla.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chinchilla. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

chinchilla

noun
chin·​chil·​la chin-ˈchil-ə How to pronounce chinchilla (audio)
: a South American rodent that is the size of a large squirrel and is widely bred in captivity for its very soft fur of a pearly gray color
also : its fur
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