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90s Slang You Should Know

water rat

any of various rodents having aquatic habits.
the muskrat, Ondatra zibethica.
(in Australia and New Guinea) any of the aquatic rats of the subfamily Hydromyinae, especially of the genus Hydromys.
Slang. a vagrant or thief who frequents a waterfront.
Origin of water rat
First recorded in 1545-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for water rat
Historical Examples
  • "That is indeed an excellent suggestion," said the water rat, and hurried off home.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • It has a flat tail like the beaver and not at all resembling the tapering tail of water rat.

    Hawk Eye David Cory
  • Indeed, Molina speaks of the coypou as a species of water rat, of the size and colour of the otter.

  • The water rat was restless, and he did not exactly know why.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • The water rat, like the good little fellow he was, sculled steadily on and forbore to disturb him.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • Her dwelling was more like the hole of a water rat than the quarters of a human being in a civilised city of the New World.

    Crimes of Charity Konrad Bercovici
  • Thanks to a long course of disobedience to his poor mother, he had learned to swim like a water rat.

    Pee-Wee Harris Adrift Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • "Well, perhaps you have chosen the better way," said the water rat, but rather doubtfully.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
  • One shoots a poli, a water rat, or a landeer and drags the carcass behind a low-flying flitter.

    Voodoo Planet Andre Norton
  • She dodged here and there like a water rat, slipped in among the cattle and shot out when they swung together.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
British Dictionary definitions for water rat

water rat

any of several small amphibious rodents, esp the water vole or the muskrat
any of various amphibious rats of the subfamily Hydromyinae, of New Guinea, the Philippines, and Australia
(informal) a person who is very fond of water sports
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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