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 For example, chinchilla farming was a national fad during the 1940s and early 1950s. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2021 However, Anchorage’s first and only chinchilla supply store opened after the bubble had burst in the Lower 48. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2021 The Nesbett Courthouse is named for Buell A. Nesbett (1910-1993), the first Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court and the man who introduced chinchilla breeding to Alaska. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 16 May 2021 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, 5 Jan. 2021 Time will tell if the chinchilla relocation project pays conservation dividends in turn. Popular Science, 20 Oct. 2020 And management dutifully handed the winning couple a 2-month-old chinchilla. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 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, 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, 8 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of chinchilla

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chinchilla


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The first known use of chinchilla was in 1604

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Chinchilla (Miranda)

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Cite this Entry

“Chinchilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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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