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90s Slang You Should Know


[ham-ster] /ˈhæm stər/
any of several short-tailed, stout-bodied, burrowing rodents, as Cricetus cricetus, of Europe and Asia, having large cheek pouches.
Origin of hamster
1600-10; < German; compare Old High German hamastro, Old Saxon hamstra weevil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hamster
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Historical Examples
  • The hamster is a curious little rat-like animal of the thrifty kind, that lays up store in the summer for winter use.

  • German hamster: Cricetus cricetus, the black-bellied hamster.

    The Rambles of a Rat A. L. O. E.
  • A hamster, for example, cannot choose to behave in the manner of a rhesus monkey.

    Anything You Can Do ... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Among these the hamster of Germany (Cricetus frumentarius) is not the least ingenious.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • In the morning the hamster woke him, excitedly; he said that he should at once look at Chrysomela, for all was not well with her.

    Little Tom V. Tille
  • The Nipe is far from being so simple as a monkey or a hamster.

    Anything You Can Do ... Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for hamster


any Eurasian burrowing rodent of the tribe Cricetini, such as Mesocricetus auratus (golden hamster), having a stocky body, short tail, and cheek pouches: family Cricetidae. They are popular pets
Word Origin
C17: from German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin
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 hamster

c.1600, from German Hamster, from Middle High German hamastra "hamster," probably from Old Church Slavonic chomestoru "hamster" (the animal is native to southeastern Europe), perhaps a blend of Russian chomiak and Lithuanian staras, both meaning "hamster." The older English name for it was German rat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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