American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large semiaquatic rodent (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) of tropical South America, having short limbs and a vestigial tail and often attaining lengths of more than 1.2 meters (4 feet).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See capibara.
- n. The largest living rodent (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), native to South America, living partly on land and partly in water.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A large South American rodent (Hydrochærus capybara) Living on the margins of lakes and rivers. It is the largest extant rodent, being about three feet long, and half that in height. It somewhat resembles the Guinea pig, to which it is related; -- called also
cabiaiand water hog.
- n. pig-sized tailless South American amphibious rodent with partly webbed feet; largest living rodent
- From Old Tupi. One possible derivation is from ka'apiûara ("slender leaf (grass) eater"), from kaá ("leaf") + píi ("slender") + ú ("eat") + ara (agentive suffix). (Wiktionary)
- Portuguese capybara, from Tupi capivara, capibara : capii, grass + urara, eater. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The animal was identified as a capybara, which is the world's largest rodent, and it feeds on vegetation.”
“The capybara is a large edible South American rodent.”
“Related to the guinea pig, the capybara is the largest species of rodent.”
“* Is it more important that a capybara is a rodent, or that it is a mammal?”
“Rodents make up 1/4 of all mammal species and the capybara is the largest member of this group.”
“Herbert recognized in this animal the capybara, that is to say, one of the largest members of the rodent order.”
“Because of its size, tasty meat, valuable leather, and rapid reproduction, the capybara is a candidate for both ranching and intensive husbandry throughout the hot and humid lowland tropical regions of Latin America.”
“The capybara is a game animal only in the sense that a hare or rabbit is.”
“The capybara is a distant cousin to the common guinea pig but bigger and river-based like a beaver.”
“I think the least interesting way to talk about the capybara is the broadest one mammal/genre, when you’re talking about capybaras.”
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