pi·​ka | \ ˈpī-kə How to pronounce pika (audio) , ˈpē- How to pronounce pika (audio) \

Definition of pika

: any of various short-eared small lagomorph mammals (family Ochotonidae) of rocky uplands of Asia and western North America with relatively short hind legs

called also coney, rock rabbit

Illustration of pika

Illustration of pika

Examples of pika in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dependent upon snowfall for insulation in a place where the snowpack has been reduced by 41 percent over the past 30 years, the cute-as-a-bunny pika (which has already vanished from a large section of the Sierra Nevada) may be in trouble here, too. Jon Waterman, Outside Online, 15 June 2020 With a temperature increase in this area of 3.4 degrees over the past century, researchers are concerned about Rocky’s heat-sensitive pika—an indicator species for climate change. Jon Waterman, Outside Online, 15 June 2020 Closer to the chinchillas in size and habitat is the American pika, a mountain-dwelling relative of rabbits and hares. Popular Science, 20 Oct. 2020 The American pika is a type of mammal that closely resembles a rabbit. Aj Willingham, CNN, 13 Oct. 2020 The virus causes rabbits and their close relatives—like hares and the mountain-dwelling pika—to drop dead, sometimes with signs of blood near their noses and mouths. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 May 2020 In addition, some animals, such as Vietnam’s saola and China’s Ili pika, were spotted once again after having gone missing for years. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, 5 Dec. 2019 That means considering the smaller animals, such as shrews, voles, jumping mice, and pika, too. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, 16 Apr. 2019 On June 7, this story was updated to correct inaccuracies about the American pika. Liz Langley, National Geographic, 29 May 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pika.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pika

1827, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pika

perhaps from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia)

Learn More About pika

Dictionary Entries Near pika




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pika

Last Updated

10 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pika.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pika. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on pika

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pika


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!