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desert rat

noun
1.
any of various small rodents, as the kangaroo rat, inhabiting arid regions.
2.
Chiefly Western U.S. one who lives in the desert, especially in order to prospect for gold or other valuable minerals.
3.
Informal. a soldier fighting in the N African desert in World War II, especially a British soldier.
Origin of desert rat
1905-1910
An Americanism dating back to 1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for desert rat
Historical Examples
  • And he could kill the desert rat as he would snuff out a candle.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • "Sandstorm" warned the desert rat, and spoke quickly to the mozo in Spanish.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • He even copied the exact wording on the desert rat's notices.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • It was still dark when the desert rat regained consciousness.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • The desert rat had followed a fresh trail and found stale bones.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • The desert rat sighed, but if in that supreme moment he wept it was not for himself.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • It was this which the desert rat had at first taken for an old "wash."

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • In fact, not to state a paradox, there had been no mystery at first—at least to the desert rat.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
  • Is he keeping a death watch on the grizzled old "desert rat" we pass a little later?

    I Married a Ranger Dama Margaret Smith
  • The desert rat took it, a little sorry that he had not been more temperate in his language.

    The Long Chance Peter B. Kyne
British Dictionary definitions for desert rat

desert rat

noun
1.
a jerboa, Jaculus orientalis, inhabiting the deserts of N Africa
2.
(Brit, informal) a soldier who served in North Africa with the British 7th Armoured Division in 1941–42
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 Value for desert

7
7
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