Definition of hyrax in English:



  • A small herbivorous mammal with a compact body and a very short tail, found in arid country in Africa and Arabia. The nearest relatives to hyraxes are the elephants and other subungulates.

    • ‘The hyrax - elephant - sirenian core is well-accepted on morphological grounds.’
    • ‘Tour archaeological sites in Jerusalem and Masada, hike through desert canyons to see hyrax and ibex.’
    • ‘The hyrax remarked wryly, ‘Looks like somebody beat us to it, m'friend.‘’
    • ‘So do wombats, hyraxes, aye-ayes, and lagomorphs, to give a few examples chosen from modern mammals.’
    • ‘Nick responded to my post about Badger's God with a link to a nice picture of the hyrax or rock badger that appears in the Bible.’
    • ‘From the molecular viewpoint, however, the phylogenetic relationship among elephants, sirenians, and hyraxes remains confused.’
    • ‘Some of these dassies, these hyraxes, went into the rocks, but this one actually climbs into the treetops.’
    • ‘The so-called ‘dawn horse’, or Eohippus, was most likely not related to horses at all, but was very like a modern-day hyrax - that is, a rock badger or coney.’
    • ‘Less certain are manatees, aardvarks, and hyraxes.’


Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek hurax shrew-mouse.