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guinea pig

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Definition of guinea pig in English:

noun

1A domesticated tailless South American cavy, originally raised for food. It no longer occurs in the wild and is now typically kept as a pet or for laboratory research.
  • Cavia porcellus, family Caviidae
Example sentences
  • The domestic guinea pig, Cavia porcellus, now found worldwide in captivity, has been bred for meat for more than three thousand years in South America.
  • A major debate was raised by the claim that ‘the guinea pig is not a rodent’.
  • At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig.
1.1A person or thing used as a subject for experiment.
Example sentences
  • Walker volunteered to act as a human guinea pig for these experiments, as did 400m runner Mark Richardson and one other athlete.
  • The early study of carbon dioxide also gave rise to the expression to be a guinea pig, meaning to subject oneself to an experiment.
  • The worst was when you became a guinea pig for a hazardous experiment, and not even the lightest punishment was endurable.

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