One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A burrowing mouselike rodent that is specially adapted to living in arid conditions, found in Africa and Asia.
- ‘According to Dr. Ritzman, gerbils are capable of living in either same-gender or mixed-gender groups but may fight if crowded or mixed as adults.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In this study we measured the strategy-specific foraging traits of gerbils under both laboratory conditions and in the field.’
- ‘Although allergies to cats are the most common, people can also be allergic to dogs and small animals such as gerbils and guinea pigs.’
2another term for jird
Mid 19th century: from French gerbille, from modern Latin gerbillus, diminutive of gerboa (see jerboa).
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