One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large semiaquatic rodent resembling a beaver, native to South America. It is kept in captivity for its fur and has become naturalized in many other areas.
Myocastor coypus, the only member of the family Myocastoridae
- ‘A South American rodent, the nutria escaped or was released into the wild from pens.’
- ‘‘When nutria eat in an area, the ground just turns to mud,’ says Miller.’
- ‘Originally from South America, the nutria has devastated thousands of acres of wetlands along the U.S. Gulf Coast with its voracious appetite and prolific mating habits.’
- ‘Hurricane Katrina dealt a blow to the nutria, the invasive rodent species that plagues the Gulf states.’
- ‘Hurricane Katrina's path of destruction dealt at least a temporary setback to the nutria, the South American rodent species that is devouring wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico, according to experts.’
- 1.1 The pelt of the nutria.
- ‘One of the blond models came out wearing a coat made of something called ‘nutria,’ and Miss Castle described her coat as ‘every woman's coat, because it covers all unnatural protuberances.’’
- ‘Extremely poor prices for nutria pelts have resulted in very little trapping activity.’
- ‘Nutria fur never really caught on, and after a few escaped into the Louisiana swamp, they bred like crazy and are now ravaging wetlands around the country.’
- ‘My favorite piece of wearing apparel is my 3/4 length nutria coat that I bought at the Red, White, and Blue Thrift Store for $9.95.’
- ‘McCartney admitted he used to wear fur in his early years of career, ... and he said, 'It's nutria'.’
Early 19th century: from Spanish, literally ‘otter’.
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