Muskrat Musk"rat`, n. 1. (Zo["o]l.) A North American aquatic fur-bearing rodent ({Ondatra zibethica} formerly {Fiber zibethicus}). It resembles a rat in color and having a long scaly tail, but the tail is compressed, the hind feet are webbed, and the ears are concealed in the fur. It has scent glands which secrete a substance having a strong odor of musk. Called also {musquash}, {musk beaver}, {ondatra}, and sometimes {water rat}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. (Zo["o]l.) The musk shrew. [1913 Webster]

3. (Zo["o]l.) The desman. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • muskrat — ☆ muskrat [musk′rat΄ ] n. pl. muskrats or muskrat 1. any of various American rodents (family Cricetidae) living in water and having glossy brown fur, a long tail, webbed hind feet, and a musklike odor 2. its fur …   English World dictionary

  • muskrat — (n.) also musk rat, 1610s, alteration (by association with musk and rat) of musquash, from Algonquian (probably Powhatan) muscascus, lit. it is red, so called for its colorings. From cognate Abenaki muskwessu comes variant form musquash (1620s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • muskrat — ► NOUN ▪ a large semiaquatic North American rodent with a musky smell, valued for its fur …   English terms dictionary

  • Muskrat — For the G.I. Joe character, see Muskrat (G.I. Joe). Muskrat Temporal range: Recent Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • muskrat — /musk rat /, n., pl. muskrats, (esp. collectively) muskrat. 1. a large, aquatic, North American rodent, Ondatra zibethica, having a musky odor. 2. its thick, light brown fur, used for coats, for hats, as a trimming, etc. [1680 90, Amer.; alter.,… …   Universalium

  • muskrat — noun (plural muskrat or muskrats) Etymology: probably by folk etymology from a word of Algonquian origin; akin to Massachusett musquash muskrat Date: 1607 an aquatic rodent (Ondatra zibethica) of the United States and Canada with a long scaly… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • muskrat — UK [ˈmʌskræt] / US [ˈmʌsˌkræt] noun [countable] Word forms muskrat : singular muskrat plural muskrats a North American animal hunted for its thick brown fur …   English dictionary

  • muskrat — /ˈmʌskræt/ (say muskrat) noun (plural muskrats, muskrat) 1. a large aquatic North American rodent, Ondatra zibethica, with a musky smell. 2. its thick, light brown fur. {alteration, by folk etymology, of musquash} …  

  • muskrat — Desman Des man (d[e^]s man), n. [Cf. Sw. desman musk.] (Zo[ o]l.) An amphibious, insectivorous mammal found in Russia ({Myogale moschata}). It is allied to the moles, but is called {muskrat} by some English writers. [Written also {d[ae]sman}.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • muskrat — noun a large semiaquatic North American rodent with a musky smell, valued for its fur. [Ondatra zibethicus.] ↘the fur of the muskrat …   English new terms dictionary

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