pi·​ka ˈpī-kə How to pronounce pika (audio) ˈpē- How to pronounce pika (audio)
: 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 Fortunately, lower-altitude pikas may be in luck as well. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 Pikas living at higher elevations, such as the large-eared pika, could defend against this because of variation in certain genes. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 Getty Images/iStockphoto Authorities have also described moose, salmon, snowshoe hares, American pikas, sea turtles, puffins, Alaskan caribou, piping plovers, polar bears and crocodiles as being at risk from climate change. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 29 Nov. 2023 The trail bisected one rock pile occupied by a family of pika, pudgy rabbit relatives who vocalized like squeaky toys. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, 7 Aug. 2023 From tiny American pikas to towering moose, all park wildlife deserves respect. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 24 Mar. 2023 Because of mini bears—the mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, marmots, pikas, raccoons, porcupines, gray jays, and other small animals that reside in popular front-country and backcountry campsites. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, 26 Jan. 2019 The eradication policy was introduced in 2000 and calls for the culling of two mountain-dwelling herbivores, the plateau pika and the zokor. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 24 May 2023 But the cooler climes in high altitudes are growing warmer, and that’s left the pika’s vulnerable to overheating in summer. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 30 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pika.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia)

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pika was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near pika

Cite this Entry

“Pika.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pika. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pi·​ka ˈpē-kə How to pronounce pika (audio)
: any of various small short-eared mammals of rocky uplands of Asia and western North America that are related to the rabbits

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