from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small Eurasian rodent of the subfamily Cricetinae, especially Mesocricetus auratus, having large cheek pouches and a short tail and often kept as a pet or used in laboratory research.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small, short-tailed Euroasian rodent, Cricetus frumentarius, often kept as a pet. It is remarkable for having a pouch on each side of the jaw, under the skin, and for its migrations.
- n. Any of various Old-world rodent species belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A small European rodent (Cricetus frumentarius). It is remarkable for having a pouch on each side of the jaw, under the skin, and for its migrations. Hamsters are commonly kept as a pets.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A murine or myomorphic rodent quadruped, of the family Muridœ and subfamily Cricetinæ, and of one of the genera Cricetus, Cricetomys, and Saccostomus.
- n. Some other pouched rodent, as of the genus Geomys, more or less resembling a hamster.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. short-tailed Old World burrowing rodent with large cheek pouches
German, from Middle High German hamastra, perhaps from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1607; from German Hamster, from Old High German hamastra, hamustro, from Old East Slavic хомѣсторъ (choměstorŭ), хомѣстаръ (choměstarŭ), compound of (1) хомѣкъ (choměkŭ) ‘hamster’ (compare Russian хомяк (chomják), Polish chomik), from Balto-Slavic *kā̂mia (compare Latvian kāmis ‘hamster’, Lithuanian kãmas ‘rat’), and of (2) Baltic *stara (compare Lithuanian stãras ‘ground squirrel’). (Wiktionary)