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rodent

[rohd-nt]
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adjective
  1. belonging or pertaining to the gnawing or nibbling mammals of the order Rodentia, including the mice, squirrels, beavers, etc.
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noun
  1. a rodent mammal.
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Origin of rodent

1825–35; < New Latin Rodentia Rodentia
Related formsro·dent·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for rodents

rodent

noun
    1. any of the relatively small placental mammals that constitute the order Rodentia, having constantly growing incisor teeth specialized for gnawing. The group includes porcupines, rats, mice, squirrels, marmots, etc
    2. (as modifier)rodent characteristics
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Derived Formsrodent-like, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Latin rōdere to gnaw, corrode
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

Word Origin and History for rodents

rodent

n.

1835 (as an adjective 1833), from Modern Latin Rodentia, the order name, from Latin rodentem (nominative rodens), present participle of rodere "to gnaw, eat away," from PIE root *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw" (cf. Sanskrit radati "scrapes, gnaws," radanah "tooth;" Latin radere "to scrape;" Welsh rhathu "scrape, polish"). Uncertain connection to Old English rætt (see rat (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rodents in Science

rodent

[rōdnt]
  1. Any of various very numerous, mostly small mammals of the order Rodentia, having large front teeth used for gnawing. The teeth grow throughout the animal's life, and are kept from getting too long by gnawing. Rodents make up about half the living species of mammals, and include rats, mice, beavers, squirrels, lemmings, shrews, and hamsters.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.