Definition of gerbil in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈjərbəl/


1A burrowing mouselike rodent that is specially adapted to living in arid conditions, found in Africa and Asia.
  • Subfamily Gerbillinae, family Muridae: several genera, in particular Gerbillus.
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.
2 another term for jird.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ger·bil

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