or pack·rat

[ pak-rat ]
/ ˈpækˌræt /

verb (used with object), pack-rat·ted, pack-rat·ting. Informal.

to save in the manner of a pack rat: I’m looking through the stuff my grandpa pack-ratted away in the attic.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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Definition for pack-rat (2 of 2)

pack rat

or pack·rat


Also called trade rat, wood rat. a large, bushy-tailed rodent, Neotoma cinerea, of North America, noted for carrying off small articles to store in its nest.
Informal. a person who saves things that are not needed or used but that may have personal or other value.
Informal. an old prospector or guide.

Origin of pack rat

First recorded in 1840–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pack-rat

  • The pack-rat ran back to its hole and made its exit without loss of time, but Clarice sobbed aloud in hysterical fear.

    Hope Hathaway|Frances Parker
  • Then either the pack-rat reformed into a trade-rat, or else he sold out his claim to a trade-rat.

    Friar Tuck|Robert Alexander Wason
  • A pack-rat dont care a peg whether he can use an article or not; all he asks is the privilege of totin it about somewhere.

    Friar Tuck|Robert Alexander Wason
  • A pack-rat is about three times as big as a barn rat, an fifteen times as energetic.

    Friar Tuck|Robert Alexander Wason

British Dictionary definitions for pack-rat

pack rat


any rat of the genus Neotoma, of W North America, having a long tail that is furry in some species: family CricetidaeAlso called: wood rat
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