Definition of viscacha in English:



  • A large South American burrowing rodent of the chinchilla family, sometimes hunted for its fur and flesh.

    • ‘We named our find the golden viscacha rat, Pipanacoctomys aureus, its genus reflecting the isolated valley where it lives and its species name highlighting its golden color.’
    • ‘At the time, the nearest known relative of the plains viscacha rat was another viscacha rat, Octomys mimax, with fifty-six chromosomes.’
    • ‘The next-to-the-last trap held an animal - a viscacha rat, unlike any I had ever seen.’
    • ‘Chinchillas and mountain viscachas live in mountainous, rocky areas, where they move over and through the rocks with great agility.’
    • ‘After our work with the plains viscacha rat, I became convinced that the vast salt flats scattered throughout the deserts and arid thorn forests of northern Argentina could harbor other salt-pan specialists.’


Early 17th century: via Spanish from Quechua ( h)uiscacha.