Guinea Pig Definition

Any of various small, plump rodents (genus Cavia) with short ears and no external tail: often domesticated and used in biological experiments.
Webster's New World
Any person or thing used in an experiment or test.
Webster's New World
A rodent of any of several species within the family Caviidae.
Attributive form of guinea pig, noun.

Other Word Forms of Guinea Pig


guinea pig

Origin of Guinea Pig

  • The origin of "guinea" in "guinea pig" is hard to explain. One theory is that the animals were brought to Europe by way of Guinea, leading people to think they had originated there. "Guinea" was also frequently used in English to refer generally to any far-off, unknown country, and so the name may simply be a colorful reference to the animal's foreignness. Others believe "guinea" may be an alteration of the word coney (“rabbit”); guinea pigs were referred to as "pig coneys" in Edward Topsell's 1607 treatise on quadrupeds.

    From Wiktionary

  • Perhaps alteration (influenced by Guinea used as a name for any faraway unknown country) of Guiana

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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guinea pig