A small Eurasian rodent of the subfamily Cricetinae, especially Mesocricetus auratus, having large cheek pouches and a short tail and often kept as a pet or used in laboratory research.
Any of several burrowing rodents (family Cricetidae) of Europe and Asia, with large cheek pouches: one species (Mesocricetus auratus) is used in scientific experiments or is often kept as a pet.
Any of various Old-World rodent species belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae.
- Especially, the golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, and the dwarf hamsters of genus Phodopus, often kept as a pets and used in scientific research.
It is the cutest sight to see a hamster stuff his puffy cheeks with food; where is it going to store it?
Other rodents of similar appearance, such as the maned hamster or crested hamster, Lophiomys imhausi, mouse-like hamsters of genus Calomyscus, and the white-tailed rat (Mystromys albicaudatus).
Origin of hamster
1607; from German Hamster, from Old High German hamastra, hamustro, from Old East Slavic хомѣсторъ (choměstorŭ), хомѣстаръ (choměstarŭ), compound of (1) хомѣкъ (choměkŭ) ‘hamster’ (compare Russian хомяк (chomják), Polish chomik), from Proto-Balto-Slavic *kāmia (compare Latvian kāmis ‘hamster’, Lithuanian kãmas ‘rat’), and of (2) Baltic *stara (compare Lithuanian stãras ‘ground squirrel’).