Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genus Gerbillus and related genera of arid regions of Africa and Asia Minor, having long hind legs and a long tail.
  • n. The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), having large dark eyes and a long furry tail and often kept as a pet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of several species of small, jumping, murine rodents, of the genus Gerbillus. In their leaping powers they resemble the jerboa. They inhabit Africa, India, and Southern Europe.
  • v. To rotate inside a monowheel or similar apparatus due to sudden acceleration or braking.
  • v. To insert a small animal into the rectum of a person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of several species of small, jumping, murine burrowing rodents, of the genus Gerbillus and related genera of the subfamily Gerbillinae. They have long soft pale fur and hind legs adapted for leaping. In their leaping powers they resemble the jerboa. They inhabit Africa, India, and Southern Europe.
  • n. A rodent (Meriones unguiculatus) of the subfamily Gerbillinae that is commonly kept as a pet; it is also called the tamarisk gerbil, sand rat and jird. Its natural habitats are the dry regions of Northern Africa and Asia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A book-name of any animal of the subfamily Gerbillinœ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small Old World burrowing desert rodent with long soft pale fur and hind legs adapted for leaping

Etymologies

French gerbille, from New Latin Gerbillus, genus name, from diminutive of gerbō, jerboa, variant of Medieval Latin jerbōa; see jerboa.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French gerbille, from Latin gerbo, from Arabic يربوع (yarbūʕ, "jerboa"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Far more satisfying than "small Old World burrowing desert rodent"; that's for sure.

    March 29, 2008

  • Only one of the best words ever. Ever.

    March 29, 2008

  • A small furry animal kept as a pet.

    December 6, 2006