Definition of hamster
: any of a subfamily (Cricetinae) of small Old World rodents having very large cheek pouches
Recent Examples of hamster from the Web
Diplo crowd-surfs in a giant inflatable hamster ball, and projections on the big screen at the back of the stage blind fans.
The Cruiser is a hamster exercise wheel slotted into a car.
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.
Origin and Etymology of hamster
German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin; akin to Old Russian choměstorŭ hamster, of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan hamaēstar- oppressor
First Known Use: 1607
HAMSTER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hamster for English Language Learners
: a small animal that is often kept as a pet
HAMSTER Defined for Kids
Definition of hamster for Students
: a stocky rodent with a short tail and large cheek pouches
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up hamster? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).