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90s Slang You Should Know


[chin-chil-uh] /tʃɪnˈtʃɪl ə/
a small, South American rodent, Chinchilla laniger, raised for its soft, silvery gray fur: now rare in the wild.
the fur of this animal.
something, as a coat or jacket, made of chinchilla fur:
a floor-length chinchilla.
a thick, napped, woolen fabric for coats.
Origin of chinchilla
1595-1605; < Spanish, perhaps, equivalent to chinche chinch + -illa < Latin -illa diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chinchilla
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. chinchilla was not a lovely lady, with a dress of soft gray cloth and a great chinchilla muff and boa.

    The Story Hour Nora A. Smith
  • Had I done this, when I was choosing my chinchilla cap and grey cloak?

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • From it the white man who is a manufacturer of furs gets gray fox and chinchilla and seal in imitation.

  • It occurred to her, also, that the velvet and chinchilla simply shouted "Money!"

    Angel Unawares C. N. Williamson
  • They wore sealskin coats, when it wasn't mink or chinchilla.

    Winner Take All Larry Evans
  • The bulla attains its maximum development in chinchilla and Dipus.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • She wore a gray cape with a chinchilla collar made out of Amy's old muff.

    The Gay Cockade Temple Bailey
  • The trade in ermine skins is falling off, as is also the trade in chinchilla.

  • "Not forgetting the gold cigarette case and the chinchilla neck piece," said Mrs. Montague.

    Merton of the Movies Harry Leon Wilson
  • It was Maidas opinion that it was sable and chinchilla mixed.

    Maida's Little Shop Inez Haynes Irwin
British Dictionary definitions for chinchilla


a small gregarious hystricomorph rodent, Chinchilla laniger, inhabiting mountainous regions of South America: family Chinchillidae. It has a stocky body and is bred in captivity for its soft silvery grey fur
the highly valued fur of this animal
mountain chinchilla, mountain viscacha, any of several long-tailed rodents of the genus Lagidium, having coarse poor quality fur
a breed of rabbit with soft silver-grey fur
a thick napped woollen cloth used for coats
Word Origin
C17: from Spanish, perhaps from Aymara
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chinchilla

small South American rodent, 1590s, from Spanish, literally "little bug," diminutive of chinche (see chinch); perhaps a folk-etymology alteration of a word from Quechua or Aymara.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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