ham·​ster | \ ˈham(p)-stər How to pronounce hamster (audio) \

Definition of hamster

: any of a subfamily (Cricetinae) of small Old World rodents having very large cheek pouches

Examples of hamster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The stories teach youngsters about caring for their pets, and this one is especially important because many children have hamsters as friends. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "After fun in the sun, settle in with one of these good reads for little ones," 23 June 2019 There were 60 mph winds, driving rain, and hamster-sized snowflakes. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Eloping Abroad: 7 Couples on What It Meant to Them," 9 Aug. 2019 Watson tested this several years ago with a colleague, by building a version of a hamster wheel out of two five-gallon buckets with the openings facing each other but leaving just enough space in between for the crab's tail. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "The Blood of the Crab," 23 Aug. 2019 The shelter has 150 dogs, 54 cats, two pigs and one hamster available for adoption, according to its website. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Oklahoma animal shelter encourages Area 51 fans to "storm our shelter" first," 20 July 2019 So why can the bird get its groove on while other pets like cats, dogs and hamsters just stare blankly? Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "What This Head-Banging, Body-Rolling Cockatoo Teaches Us About the Evolution of Dance," 11 July 2019 Historians spend their lives learning more and more about less and less, producing narrow PhDs and turning them into monographs and academic articles, in the hamster-wheel pursuit of tenure and promotion. The Economist, "The study of history is in decline in Britain," 18 July 2019 Emerson planted the train on his friend’s property in Pepin County, Wis., a place already home to underground tunnels, a human hamster wheel and a tree house. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Whatever happened to the Minnesota Zoo monorail cars? A St. Paul guy turned some into cabins.," 22 June 2019 The hamster’s journey into Kim’s home was chronicled during the May 26 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Kim Kardashian Isn't Sure How to Handle North's Hamster's Death: 'How Do I Go and Explain This?'," 5 June 2019

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

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hamster

German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin; akin to Old Russian choměstorŭ hamster, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan hamaēstar- oppressor

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Dictionary Entries near hamster


Hampton Roads






Statistics for hamster

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hamster

The first known use of hamster was in 1607

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More Definitions for hamster



English Language Learners Definition of hamster

: a small animal that is often kept as a pet


ham·​ster | \ ˈham-stər How to pronounce hamster (audio) \

Kids Definition of hamster

: a stocky rodent with a short tail and large cheek pouches


ham·​ster | \ ˈham(p)-stər How to pronounce hamster (audio) \

Medical Definition of hamster

: any of numerous Old World rodents (Cricetus or a related genus) having very large cheek pouches and including several used as laboratory animals

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More from Merriam-Webster on hamster

Spanish Central: Translation of hamster

Nglish: Translation of hamster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hamster for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hamster

Comments on hamster

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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