gerbil definition by Webster's New World
Origin: French gerbille ; from Modern Latin gerbillus ; from gerbo, jerboa
gerbil definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Any of various small, mouselike rodents of the genus Gerbillus and related genera of arid regions of Africa and Asia Minor, having long hind legs and a long tail.
- The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), having large dark eyes and a long furry tail and often kept as a pet.
Origin: French gerbille, from New Latin Gerbillus, genus name, from diminutive of gerbō, jerboa, variant of Medieval Latin jerbōa; see jerboa.