[pah-kuh, pak-uh]


a large, white-spotted, almost tailless rodent, Agouti paca, of Central and South America, having features resembling a guinea pig and rabbit: valued as food.

Origin of paca

1650–60; < Spanish or Portuguese < Tupi
Also called spotted cavy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paca

Historical Examples of paca

  • The paca is also very plentiful, and becomes easily domesticated.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The tools used are made of the incisor teeth of the paca and cavy.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • These were pacas (Coelogenus paca), agoutis (Chloromys), and capivaras.

  • The paca, by-the-by, was roasted, and preferred to the ducks.

    The Young Llanero

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • How Paca will laugh at me, when I go home after such a terrible defeat!


    Benito Prez Galds

British Dictionary definitions for paca



a large burrowing hystricomorph rodent, Cuniculus paca, of Central and South America, having white-spotted brown fur and a large head: family Dasyproctidae

Word Origin for paca

C17: from Spanish, from Tupi
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 paca

Central and South American rodent, 1650s, from Spanish, from Tupi (Brazil) paca.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper