kangaroo rat


: any of a genus (Dipodomys) of nocturnal burrowing rodents of arid parts of western North America that travel by hopping on their long hind legs and have a long tail and fur-lined cheek pouches

Illustration of kangaroo rat

Illustration of kangaroo rat

Examples of kangaroo rat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This image released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a Stephens' kangaroo rat is seen on a person's knee as it's held by the tail on Oct. 16, 2017. CBS News, 30 Dec. 2023 Rosy boas can eat small mammals, such as kangaroo rats and deer mice, according to Web MD. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 Named for its marsupial-like hind legs, the kangaroo rat resides in North and West Texas and thrives in a short-grass prairie environment. Noor Adatia, Dallas News, 16 Aug. 2023 Additionally, ongoing conversion of prairie land into farms, roads and cities has also harmed the kangaroo rat population. Noor Adatia, Dallas News, 16 Aug. 2023 Like other small rodents, the Texas kangaroo rat is prey for other animals, including hawks and foxes. Noor Adatia, Dallas News, 16 Aug. 2023 Karate Kicks Like most rodents, desert kangaroo rats are popular menu items for many would-be predators in California. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 6 June 2023 Ongoing research into the kangaroo rat, including population documentation and genetic testing, will help inform strategies for preserving the habitat to promote the health of the species. Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2023 What have researchers learned about Santa Cruz kangaroo rats so far? Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 21 June 2023 See More

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

1867, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kangaroo rat was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near kangaroo rat

Cite this Entry

“Kangaroo rat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kangaroo%20rat. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

kangaroo rat

: a burrowing rodent of dry regions of the western U.S. that travels by hopping on its long hind legs

More from Merriam-Webster on kangaroo rat

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!