Definition of rodent
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
Recent Examples of rodent from the Web
Muskrats are medium-sized semi-aquatic rodents, commonly found throughout the U.S.
Questions arose about everything from the garden attracting rodents to the sincerity of the nonprofit's volunteers.
If not carefully maintained, plants that drop fruit, like figs or tomatoes, can attract rodents in city gardens.
And a small South American rodent called the red viscacha has a whopping 104.
Who would want advice from this rashy, rapidly aging rodent?
The dispersal of the cats across the Mediterranean was probably encouraged by their usefulness in controlling rodents and other pests on ships, the researchers said.
The Javits Center feline pest-control team, whose work ridding the loading docks of rodents has made headlines in the past, is among the highlights of a sustainability report issued by officials at the complex.
The technique was effective at preserving cardiac function in the rodents, yet experts note there are significant obstacles to implementing it as a human therapy.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rodent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of rodent
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: 1830See Words from the same year
RODENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rodent for English Language Learners
: a small animal (such as a mouse, rat, squirrel, or beaver) that has sharp front teeth
RODENT Defined for Kids
Definition of rodent for Students
: a usually small mammal (as a squirrel, rat, mouse, or beaver) with sharp front teeth used in gnawing
Medical Definition of rodent
: any mammal (as a mouse or rat) of the order Rodentia
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