guinea pig

noun

1
: a small stout-bodied short-eared tailless domesticated rodent (Cavia porcellus) of South American origin often kept as a pet and widely used in biological research

called also cavy

2
: a subject of research, experimentation, or testing

Examples of guinea pig in a Sentence

He volunteered to act as a guinea pig in the experiment.
Recent Examples on the Web Dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets, like guinea pigs and even rats will be available for adoption. Corina Vanek, The Arizona Republic, 6 Mar. 2024 Those looking to adopt a pet can find a wide variety on sites such as Petfinder, Adopt A Pet or Best Friends Animal Society – from dogs and cats to rabbits and guinea pigs. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 And Matthew, their three children, and the legendary Ma Mac get to be the lucky guinea pigs. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 6 Mar. 2024 But to the doctors, the man was a medical anomaly, someone who had defied official recommendations and turned himself into a guinea pig for measuring the outer limits of an immune response. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, 6 Mar. 2024 She’s even helped a family find a cage for a guinea pig in need of a proper home. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Feb. 2024 Full of sounds but relatively small, guinea pigs aren't the only animals taking up space in Clayton's place. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 Users are not guinea pigs Clearly, both bots needed more work. Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2024 There are also 53 spaces for small pets, like guinea pigs and rabbits. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guinea pig.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of guinea pig was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near guinea pig

Cite this Entry

“Guinea pig.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guinea%20pig. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

guinea pig

noun
1
: a small stocky rodent with short ears and a very short tail that is often kept as a pet and is used in biological research
2
: a person or thing experimented on

Medical Definition

guinea pig

noun
guin·​ea pig ˈgin-ē-ˌ How to pronounce guinea pig (audio)
: a small stout-bodied short-eared nearly tailless domesticated rodent of the genus Cavia (C. cobaya) often kept as a pet and widely used in biological research

called also cavy

More from Merriam-Webster on guinea pig

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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