Guinea-pig definition

Any of various small, stocky, short-eared rodents of the genus Cavia of South America, having no visible tail. The domesticated species C. porcellus is widely kept as a pet and is used in biomedical research.
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Any of various small, plump rodents (genus Cavia) with short ears and no external tail: often domesticated and used in biological experiments.
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Any of various small, stocky, short-eared rodents of the genus Cavia of South America, having no visible tail. The domesticated species C. porcellus is widely kept as a pet and is used in biomedical research.
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(informal) A person who is used as a subject for experimentation or research.
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Any person or thing used in an experiment or test.
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(informal) A person who is used as a subject for experimentation or research.
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A tailless rodent of the the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia genus, with short ears and larger than a hamster; the species Cavia porcellus is often kept as a pet.
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A rodent of any of several species within the family Caviidae.
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(figuratively) A living experimental subject.

He became a human guinea pig and was paid by the company.

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Attributive form of guinea pig, noun.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
guinea-pig
Plural:
guinea-pigs

Origin of guinea-pig

  • 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

  • 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