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

Other Words from rodent

rodent adjective

Examples of rodent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hill, 46, had even tracked and and killed a beaver, and then scraped enough energy-providing fat from the aquatic rodent to fill a hollowed out log. Fred Dreier, Outside Online, 6 July 2022 But in a paper published on Monday, researchers argue that maybe, just maybe, the southeastern pocket gopher, a small burrowing rodent best known in many communities as a pest, could be considered a rudimentary kind of farmer. New York Times, 11 July 2022 Dantzer, a rodent researcher at the University of Michigan, was standing in the Canadian Yukon, scrutinizing the uncooperative squirrel, which was perched high in a spruce tree. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 8 July 2022 Inside, things are more appealing and less raging rodent. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 21 June 2022 Tenants have long decried deplorable conditions such as rodent infestations, mold and crumbling structures. John Spink, ajc, 10 May 2022 Two subways always coexist in our imagination: the actual subway—filthy, malodorous, rodent-ridden, and all the rest, but always running—and the subway as it is thematized and made iconic, by movies and television and the tabloids. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2022 Similarly, there is little disagreement that cats hunt; for centuries humans have used them for rodent control. Daniel Herrera, The Conversation, 8 Apr. 2022 Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco were the only cities where Orkin performed more new rodent treatments from September 2020 to September 2021. Alex Mann,, 3 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rodent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rodent


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

More from Merriam-Webster on rodent

Nglish: Translation of rodent for Spanish Speakers

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


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