mole rat


: any of various burrowing Old World rodents (as of the families Bathyergidae and Muridae) that generally resemble moles in appearance and have large often protruding incisors used for digging compare naked mole rat

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the largest-ever effort of its kind, researchers have sequenced the DNA of 240 mammals, including humans and 42 other species of primates and unusual creatures like the Upper Galilee Mountains blind mole rat. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 27 Apr. 2023 For a photographer who began his mission with that bucktoothed mole rat, Joel takes pleasure in smaller animals and insects. Joel Sartore, National Geographic, 20 Nov. 2020 Engraved illustration of Nehring's blind mole rat, Spalax typhlus Pall. Breanna Draxler, Discover Magazine, 8 Nov. 2012 Beyond just longevity, these hairless rodents also exhibit one of the most complex social structures known in mammals: a queen mole rat and castes of nonbreeding workers cooperatively live together in subterranean burrows. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 31 Jan. 2023 Not only did each mole rat have its own vocal signature, but each colony had its own distinct dialect, which was passed down, culturally, over generations. Emily Anthes, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2022 Like most rodents, the mole rat has teeth that are always growing and need to be ground down. Charlotte Hu, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2018 Guest stars this season include Harvey Gullien as a frog named Pelpel, Richard Ayoade as a mole rat named Kyle, Shohreh Aghdashloo as pirate queen Forouzan and Melissa Villaseñor as excitable scientist Akna. Ej Panaligan, Variety, 13 Dec. 2022 Based on the best-selling book by Mo Willems, this animated musical extravaganza celebrates acceptance through a story about a mole rat who decides to get dressed. Olivia Mccormack, Washington Post, 30 June 2022 See More

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

1781, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mole rat was in 1781

Dictionary Entries Near mole rat

Cite this Entry

“Mole rat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on mole 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!