rodent

noun

ro·​dent ˈrō-dᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio)
1
: any of an order (Rodentia) of relatively small gnawing mammals (such as a mouse, squirrel, or beaver) that have in both jaws a single pair of incisors with a chisel-shaped edge
2
: a small mammal (such as a rabbit or a shrew) other than a true rodent
rodent adjective

Examples of rodent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the city met stiff opposition to trapping or exterminating the rodents. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 But when males and females are present, there can be some hormonal cross-talk, especially in rodents, which can carry litters of a dozen or more pups. Jon Hamilton, NPR, 9 Apr. 2024 This Amazonian freshwater environment was nutrient-rich and teeming with life, home to crocodilians, turtles and fish, as well as mammals such as sloths, rodents, ungulates and primates. Mindy Weisberger, CNN, 26 Mar. 2024 Outdoor cats’ food supply may also be increasing, as some prey, such as small rodents, may have population booms in warmer weather themselves. Sachi Mulkey, WIRED, 23 Mar. 2024 But the majority of mammals are rodents and bats, which are underrepresented in these types of studies, per the paper. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Mar. 2024 More than two inches of mulch generally reduces water penetration to the roots, reduces air exchange with the roots, and can even provide a home for bark-gnawing rodents. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 8 Mar. 2024 Once safely back home, the rodents typically attempt to either eat the objects or add them to nests. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 1 Mar. 2024 The scientists also report that the battery’s chemical byproducts, such as sodium ions, did not appear to affect the kidneys and livers of the rodents. IEEE Spectrum, 27 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from the base of New Latin Rodentia, order name, from neuter plural of Latin rōdent-, rōdens, present participle of rōdere "to gnaw, nibble, eat away," perhaps going back to Indo-European *Hr̥h3d-, *Hreh3d-, whence also Hittite ardu- "saw (off)," Sanskrit rádati "(s/he) bites, gnaws, cuts, opens"

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rodent was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near rodent

Cite this Entry

“Rodent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rodent. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

rodent

noun
ro·​dent ˈrōd-ᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio)
: any of an order of fairly small mammals (as mice, squirrels, or beavers) that have sharp front teeth used for gnawing
rodent adjective
Etymology

derived from Latin rodent-, rodens, a form of rodere "to gnaw" — related to erode

Medical Definition

rodent

noun
ro·​dent ˈrōd-ᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio)
: any mammal (as a mouse or rat) of the order Rodentia
rodent adjective

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