|a. any of the relatively small placental mammals that constitute the order Rodentia, having constantly growing incisor teeth specialized for gnawing. The group includes porcupines, rats, mice, squirrels, marmots, etc|
|b. (as modifier): rodent characteristics|
|[C19: from Latin rōdere to gnaw, corrode]|
|rodent (rōd'nt) Pronunciation Key
Any of various very numerous, mostly small mammals of the order Rodentia, having large front teeth used for gnawing. The teeth grow throughout the animal's life, and are kept from getting too long by gnawing. Rodents make up about half the living species of mammals, and include rats, mice, beavers, squirrels, lemmings, shrews, and hamsters.