Kangaroo rat

Kangaroo rat
Rat Rat (r[a^]t), n. [AS. r[ae]t; akin to D. rat, OHG. rato, ratta, G. ratte, ratze, OLG. ratta, LG. & Dan. rotte, Sw. r[*a]tta, F. rat, Ir. & Gael radan, Armor. raz, of unknown origin. Cf. {Raccoon}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) One of several species of small rodents of the genus {Rattus} (formerly included in {Mus}) and allied genera, of the family {Muridae}, distinguished from mice primarily by being larger. They infest houses, stores, and ships, especially the Norway rat, also called {brown rat}, ({Rattus norvegicus} formerly {Mus decumanus}), the black rat ({Rattus rattus} formerly {Mus rattus}), and the roof rat (formerly {Mus Alexandrinus}, now included in {Rattus rattus}). These were introduced into America from the Old World. The white rat used most commonly in laboratories is primarily a strain derived from {Rattus rattus}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. A round and tapering mass of hair, or similar material, used by women to support the puffs and rolls of their natural hair. [Local, U.S.] [1913 Webster]

3. One who deserts his party or associates; hence, in the trades, one who works for lower wages than those prescribed by a trades union. [Cant] [1913 Webster]

Note: ``It so chanced that, not long after the accession of the house of Hanover, some of the brown, that is the German or Norway, rats, were first brought over to this country (in some timber as is said); and being much stronger than the black, or, till then, the common, rats, they in many places quite extirpated the latter. The word (both the noun and the verb to rat) was first, as we have seen, leveled at the converts to the government of George the First, but has by degrees obtained a wider meaning, and come to be applied to any sudden and mercenary change in politics.'' --Lord Mahon. [1913 Webster]

{Bamboo rat} (Zo["o]l.), any Indian rodent of the genus {Rhizomys}.

{Beaver rat}, {Coast rat}. (Zo["o]l.) See under {Beaver} and {Coast}.

{Blind rat} (Zo["o]l.), the mole rat.

{Cotton rat} (Zo["o]l.), a long-haired rat ({Sigmodon hispidus}), native of the Southern United States and Mexico. It makes its nest of cotton and is often injurious to the crop.

{Ground rat}. See {Ground Pig}, under {Ground}.

{Hedgehog rat}. See under {Hedgehog}.

{Kangaroo rat} (Zo["o]l.), the potoroo.

{Norway rat} (Zo["o]l.), the common brown rat. See {Rat}.

{Pouched rat}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) See {Pocket Gopher}, under {Pocket}. (b) Any African rodent of the genus {Cricetomys}.

{Rat Indians} (Ethnol.), a tribe of Indians dwelling near Fort Ukon, Alaska. They belong to the Athabascan stock.

{Rat mole}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Mole rat}, under {Mole}.

{Rat pit}, an inclosed space into which rats are put to be killed by a dog for sport.

{Rat snake} (Zo["o]l.), a large colubrine snake ({Ptyas mucosus}) very common in India and Ceylon. It enters dwellings, and destroys rats, chickens, etc.

{Spiny rat} (Zo["o]l.), any South American rodent of the genus {Echinomys}.

{To smell a rat}. See under {Smell}.

{Wood rat} (Zo["o]l.), any American rat of the genus {Neotoma}, especially {Neotoma Floridana}, common in the Southern United States. Its feet and belly are white. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • kangaroo rat — n. (Zool.) A jumping rodent of the genus {Dipodomys} of the family {Heteromyidae}, which lives in arid regions of Mexico and the western U. S. [PJC] 2. (Zool.) An Australian mammal of the genus {Notomys}. [PJC] 3. (Zool.) a small ratlike… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kangaroo rat — n. ☆ 1. any of a genus (Dipodomys, family Heteromyidae) of small, long legged, jumping, mouselike rodents living in desert regions of the SW U.S. and Mexico 2. RAT KANGAROO …   English World dictionary

  • kangaroo rat — kangaroo′ rat n. mam any of various small jumping rodents of the genus Dipodomys, of Mexico and W North America • Etymology: 1780–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • Kangaroo rat — This article is about the American animal. For the Australian animal, see Hopping mouse. Not to be confused with the genus Aepyprymnus, known as rat kangaroos. Kangaroo rats Temporal range: Late Pliocene Recent Scientific classificatio …   Wikipedia

  • kangaroo rat — 1. any of various small jumping rodents of the family Heteromyidae, of Mexico and the western U.S. 2. an Australian desert rodent of the genus Notomys. [1780 90] * * * Any of about 25 species (genus Dipodomys, family Heteromyidae) of rodents that …   Universalium

  • kangaroo rat — noun 1. any of various leaping rodents of desert regions of North America and Mexico; largest members of the family Heteromyidae • Syn: ↑desert rat, ↑Dipodomys phillipsii • Hypernyms: ↑pocket rat • Hyponyms: ↑Ord kangaroo rat, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • kangaroo rat — Potoroo Po to*roo , n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any small kangaroo belonging to {Hypsiprymnus}, {Bettongia}, and allied genera, native of Australia and Tasmania. Called also {kangaroo rat}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kangaroo rat — /kæŋgəˈru ræt / (say kangguh rooh rat) noun any of various small jumping rodents of the family Heteromyidae, of Mexico and the western United States, such as those of the genus Dipodomys …   Australian English dictionary

  • kangaroo rat — noun Date: 1867 any of a genus (Dipodomys) of nocturnal burrowing rodents of arid parts of western North America that travel by hopping on their long hind legs and have a long tail and fur lined cheek pouches …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • kangaroo rat — noun Any of many different species of rodent that moves about by hopping. Syn: hopping mouse …   Wiktionary

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