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 Closer to the chinchillas in size and habitat is the American pika, a mountain-dwelling relative of rabbits and hares. Popular Science, "How 25 chinchillas could save a mountain," 20 Oct. 2020 The American pika is a type of mammal that closely resembles a rabbit. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for October 13: Coronavirus, Supreme Court, Election 2020, Big Tech and Greece," 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, "North American Rabbits Face a Deadly Virus," 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, "These are the top 20 scientific discoveries of the decade," 5 Dec. 2019 That means considering the smaller animals, such as shrews, voles, jumping mice, and pika, too. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, "How wildlife bridges over highways make animals—and people—safer," 16 Apr. 2019 On June 7, this story was updated to correct inaccuracies about the American pika. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "What is extinction? The answer is complicated.," 29 May 2019 The American pika, a cold-loving relative of rabbits, is often erroneously reported to be moving to higher locations as the climate warms. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "What is extinction? The answer is complicated.," 29 May 2019 Native to the Tianshan Mountains of northwestern China, the Ili pika was discovered in 1983, and few have shown their squeal-worthy faces since. National Geographic, "Rare Bunny-Faced Mammal Captured on Video," 14 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of pika

1827, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pika

perhaps from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pika

Statistics for pika

Cite this Entry

“Pika.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pika. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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

Comments on pika

What made you want to look up pika? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

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

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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