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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.


desert rat

noun

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


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Word History and Origins

Origin of desert rat1

An Americanism dating back to 1905–10

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Example Sentences

Two were even willing to pose for a picture by their kills: one had a five-foot rattlesnake; the other a desert rat.

He was simply another "desert rat" obsessed with the idea that gold was to be found in those northern hills.

That meant he had been found and rescued by some Martian desert rat who had probably witnessed his fall.

"Sandstorm" warned the Desert Rat, and spoke quickly to the mozo in Spanish.

He even copied the exact wording on the Desert Rat's notices.

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petrichor

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