Definition of gerbil in English:


Line breaks: ger¦bil
Pronunciation: /ˈdʒəːbɪl


A burrowing mouse-like rodent that is specially adapted to living in arid conditions, found in Africa and Asia.
  • Subfamily Gerbillinae, family Muridae: several genera, in particular Gerbillus; the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) is popular as a pet
More example sentences
  • In this study we measured the strategy-specific foraging traits of gerbils under both laboratory conditions and in the field.
  • While most of us are all too willing to cuddle guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, pet mice and even ferrets, brown rats produce a reaction of almost universal revulsion.
  • At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig.


mid 19th century: from French gerbille, from modern Latin gerbillus, diminutive of gerboa (see jerboa).

Definition of gerbil in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards