Muskrat



[muhsk-rat] /ˈmʌskˌræt/

noun, plural muskrats (especially 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.
/ˈmʌskˌræt/
noun (pl) -rats, -rat
1.
a North American beaver-like amphibious rodent, Ondatra zibethica, closely related to but larger than the voles: family Cricetidae
2.
the brown fur of this animal
3.
either of two closely related rodents, Ondatra obscurus or Neofiber alleni (round-tailed muskrat)
n.

also musk-rat, 1610s, alteration (by association with musk and rat) of musquash, from Algonquian (probably Powhatan) muscascus, literally “it is red,” so called for its colorings. From cognate Abenaki muskwessu comes variant form musquash (1620s).

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