ro·​dent | \ ˈrō-dᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio) \

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

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Other Words from rodent

rodent adjective

Examples of rodent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The rodent is known as gloscho in the Apache language and is only hunted in the winter months. Shaena Montanari, azcentral, "These Arizona Native food experts appear in Hulu's new series starring chef Padma Lakshmi," 17 June 2020 Darwin’s curiosity was piqued by its similarity to a species of agouti, a rodent native to South America. National Geographic, "Darwin's first—and only—trip around the world began a scientific revolution," 11 June 2020 Also, with the massive change in food disposal patterns in big cities because so many restaurants are no longer serving sit-down meals, rodents' food sources are not where the creatures might be expecting them. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "One More Thing to Think About during COVID-19: Rats in Your Engine Compartment," 4 May 2020 The analysis revealed dozens of genes that showed signs of selective sweeps among the New York rodents, some associated with things like mobility, behavior and diet. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rats May Be Genetically Adapted to New York Living," 13 Mar. 2020 And a swimbait can be made to replicate all sorts of easy meals—from shad to trout to rodents, and everything in between. Pete Robbins, Field & Stream, "The 5 Best Swimbaits for Catching Big Spring Largemouth Bass," 2 Mar. 2020 Larkum’s group plans to search for similar signals in the dendrites of rodents and other animals, to determine whether this computational ability is unique to humans. Quanta Magazine, "Hidden Computational Power Found in the Arms of Neurons," 14 Jan. 2020 The duo then measured neural activity while observing the rodents' ability to notice subtle taps on their whiskers. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "“Metronome” Neurons Act Like Timekeepers in Mouse Brains," 18 July 2019 Thus neural circuits for empathy and altruism have likely been around since our last shared ancestor with rodents—nearly 100 million years. Popular Science, "Why we evolved to feel empathy during pandemics and other disasters," 28 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of rodent

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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"

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Time Traveler for rodent

Time Traveler

The first known use of rodent was in 1830

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Statistics for rodent

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rodent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for rodent


How to pronounce rodent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rodent

: a small animal (such as a mouse, rat, squirrel, or beaver) that has sharp front teeth


ro·​dent | \ ˈrō-dᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio) \

Kids Definition of rodent

: a usually small mammal (as a squirrel, rat, mouse, or beaver) with sharp front teeth used in gnawing


ro·​dent | \ ˈrōd-ᵊnt How to pronounce rodent (audio) \

Medical Definition of rodent

: any mammal (as a mouse or rat) of the order Rodentia

Other Words from rodent

rodent adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on rodent

Spanish Central: Translation of rodent

Nglish: Translation of rodent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rodent for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rodent

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