musk·​rat | \ ˈməsk-ˌrat How to pronounce muskrat (audio) \
plural muskrat or muskrats

Definition of muskrat

: an aquatic rodent (Ondatra zibethica) of the U.S. and Canada with a long scaly laterally compressed tail, webbed hind feet, and dark glossy brown fur also : its fur or pelt

Illustration of muskrat

Illustration of muskrat

Examples of muskrat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In summer and fall of 1925, Cordova trappers also live-captured 100 muskrats for passage to Kodiak. Anchorage Daily News, "Raccoons, wild pigs and other bad ideas for Alaska," 28 Sep. 2019 There were beavers, muskrats, mink and Great Blue herons. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Making the best of a stinky situation," 17 Nov. 2019 Nutrias are webbed-toed, buck-toothed rodents that are in between the size of muskrats and beavers. USA TODAY, "Robot hostesses, veggie booze, ‘civil death’: News from around our 50 states," 4 July 2019 If people want to smell like gamy muskrats down by the river, that’s their right as Americans. John Kass,, "Column: The Golden Moutza of June is a real fish story," 26 June 2019 There are beavers, muskrats and brown bats, along with snapping turtles and Easter milk snakes. Rich Heileman,, "Berea’s Old Stone House still in limbo: Around The Town," 14 June 2019 The new city law will mostly impact areas near Bird Creek, Girdwood and Chugiak. Trapping season in parts of the municipality generally runs from around November to February, stretching to April for beaver and May for muskrat. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "New restrictions on where people can trap in the Anchorage municipality go into effect Friday," 7 June 2019 The lake has been lowered by three to four feet after muskrats dug through sections of the dam that creates the lake. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "School Section Lake in Ottawa is closed after muskrats do damage to dam," 16 Apr. 2018 Last month, when two dead muskrats tested positive for the disease in the Ken Euers Nature Area in Green Bay, WBAY reported, health officials there urged people to protect themselves and their pets from ticks and biting flies. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Don't touch bunnies. Illinois residents are warned about rabbit fever in their area," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'muskrat.' 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 muskrat

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for muskrat

probably by folk etymology from a word of Algonquian origin; akin to Massachusett musquash muskrat

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Time Traveler for muskrat

Time Traveler

The first known use of muskrat was in 1607

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Cite this Entry

“Muskrat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce muskrat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of muskrat

: a North American animal that lives in or near water


musk·​rat | \ ˈməsk-ˌrat How to pronounce muskrat (audio) \
plural muskrat or muskrats

Kids Definition of muskrat

: a North American animal that is a rodent living in or near water and having webbed hind feet, a long scaly tail, and glossy usually dark brown fur

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muskrat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with muskrat

Spanish Central: Translation of muskrat

Nglish: Translation of muskrat for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about muskrat

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