[ chin-chil-uh ]
See synonyms for chinchilla on
  1. a small, South American rodent, Chinchilla laniger, raised for its soft, silvery gray fur: now rare in the wild.

  2. the fur of this animal.

  1. something, as a coat or jacket, made of chinchilla fur: a floor-length chinchilla.

  2. a thick, napped, woolen fabric for coats.

Origin of chinchilla

1595–1605; <Spanish, perhaps, equivalent to chinchechinch + -illa<Latin -illa diminutive suffix

Words Nearby chinchilla Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chinchilla in a sentence

  • Ethel, that gray is too sweet for anything; it would just match your chinchilla furs perfectly!

  • The chinchilla (C. lanigera) inhabits the cold mountain-valleys, where his close, fine gray fur is an invaluable protection.

    The Desert World | Arthur Mangin
  • "The lady is wearing rose-colored cloth and chinchilla," replied Martha Mary literally.

    The Beauty | Mrs. Wilson Woodrow
  • She wore a gray cape with a chinchilla collar made out of Amy's old muff.

    The Gay Cockade | Temple Bailey
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for chinchilla


/ (tʃɪnˈtʃɪlə) /

  1. 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

  2. the highly valued fur of this animal

  1. mountain chinchilla or mountain viscacha any of several long-tailed rodents of the genus Lagidium, having coarse poor quality fur

  2. a breed of rabbit with soft silver-grey fur

  3. a thick napped woollen cloth used for coats

Origin of chinchilla

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