gerbil


noun

  1. any of numerous small burrowing rodents of the genus Gerbillus and related genera, of Asia, Africa, and southern Russia, having long hind legs used for jumping.
  2. Also called tamarisk gerbil. a jird, Meriones unguiculatus, that is popular as a pet.

noun

  1. any burrowing rodent of the subfamily Gerbillinae, inhabiting hot dry regions of Asia and Africa and having soft pale fur: family Cricetidae
n.

1849, from French gerbille, from Modern Latin Gerbillus, the genus name, from gerbo, from Arabic yarbu. Earlier English form, jarbuah (1660s), was directly from Arabic.

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