[ jer-boh-uh, jer- ]
/ dʒərˈboʊ ə, dʒɛr- /


any of various mouselike rodents of North Africa and Asia, as of the genera Jaculus and Dipus, with long hind legs used for jumping.

Origin of jerboa

1655–65; < New Latin < Arabic yarbūʿ; see gerbil Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jerboa

British Dictionary definitions for jerboa


/ (dʒɜːˈbəʊə) /


any small nocturnal burrowing rodent of the family Dipodidae, inhabiting dry regions of Asia and N Africa, having pale sandy fur, large ears, and long hind legs specialized for jumping

Word Origin for jerboa

C17: from New Latin, from Arabic yarbū`
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 jerboa



small desert rodent, 1660s, Modern Latin, from Arabic jarbu "flesh of the loins," also the name of a small jumping rodent of North Africa. Cf. gerbil.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper