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).

More definitions of gerbil

Definition of gerbil in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
a powerful whirlpool in the sea