Definition of capybara in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kapəˈberə/

noun (plural same or capybaras)

A South American mammal that resembles a giant, long-legged guinea pig. It lives in groups near water and is the largest living rodent.
  • Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, the only member of the family Hydrochaeridae.
Example sentences
  • On the basis of fossil plants surrounding the remains, as well as the shape of the animal's teeth, the team suggests that Phoberomys fed on rough grasses in or near water, as capybaras still do.
  • Living members of the group today include beavers, squirrels, guinea pigs, rats, mice, capybaras, and hundreds of other species.
  • You notice that, although it's a fine article, it fails to mention the world's largest living rodent, the capybara.


Early 17th century: from Spanish capibara or Portuguese capivara, from Tupi capiuára, from capĩ 'grass' + uára 'eater'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cap·y·ba·ra

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.