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

Last year, the British tabloids reported that Sandringham newcomer Meghan Markle gave the Queen a singing hamster. Vogue, "What Do Royal Family Members Get Each Other for Christmas?," 20 Dec. 2018 There were five dogs, a hamster and as many as 40 cats, according to the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Search reveals 60 dead cats in animal rescue's freezer, garage and yard, Minn. cops say | Miami Herald," 12 May 2018 That means no emotional support ducks, peacocks or hamsters. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Emotional support animals face restrictions in Southwest airlines, Royal Caribbean cruises, reports say," 15 Aug. 2018 Literally calling her new husband a hamster on his birthday? Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Sister Samantha Just Apologized to The Duchess on Live Television," 1 Oct. 2018 This rabbit or hamster cage also comes from designer Marc Ange, in collaboration with his friend and partner Frédéric Stouls. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "5 Pet Homes That Humans Will Envy," 26 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile, cats can live 15 to 20 years, parrots 50 to 60 years, and hamsters only a few years. Karen Asp, Good Housekeeping, "10 Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Pet," 30 Aug. 2012 The marketing campaign involved an imaginary Framily called the Frobinsons led by a talking hamster played by Andrew Dice Clay. Mark Davis, kansascity, "Here’s the highlight reel now-former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure made of his four years," 31 May 2018 In this wordless graphic novel-style picture book, Grace’s class wants a new hamster. Maria Russo, New York Times, "Standout New Picture Books," 9 Mar. 2018

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

2 Apr 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

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an enemy or opponent

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