house mouse


: a common nearly cosmopolitan grayish-brown mouse (Mus musculus) that usually lives and breeds about buildings, may act as a vector of diseases, and is an important laboratory animal

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The house mouse, Mus musculus domesticus, was one such animal. Andrew C. Kitchener, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2015 But only six of these changes were the house mouse’s own innovations. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 21 July 2011 The first evidence of the house mouse (Mus musculus) invading our homes came from teeth recovered from an archaeological site of semi-permanent human structures in the Levant—which were occupied 15,000 years ago. Bethany Brookshire, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Dec. 2022 This study set out to uncover potential correlations between baculum shape and reproductive success in the house mouse. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2013 After controlling for body size and other reproductive traits, the width (but not length) of the house mouse baculum predicts both the mean number of offspring sired per litter and total number of offspring sired. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2013 For comparison, a house mouse’s skin is around 20 times stronger than a spiny mouse’s, and can absorb 77 times more energy before breaking. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 26 Sep. 2012 The plague is a cruel blow to farmers in Australia’s most populous state who have been battered by fires, floods and pandemic disruptions in recent years, only to face the new scourge of the introduced house mouse, or Mus musculus. Fox News, 29 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'house mouse.' 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

circa 1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of house mouse was circa 1555

Dictionary Entries Near house mouse

Cite this Entry

“House mouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition

house mouse

: a mouse that frequents houses
especially : a common nearly cosmopolitan grayish-brown mouse of the genus Mus (M. musculus) that lives and breeds about buildings, is an important laboratory animal, and is an important pest as a consumer of human food and as a vector of diseases

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