chinchilla

[chin-chil-uh]
noun
1.
a small, South American rodent, Chinchilla laniger, raised for its soft, silvery gray fur: now rare in the wild.
2.
the fur of this animal.
3.
something, as a coat or jacket, made of chinchilla fur: a floor-length chinchilla.
4.
a thick, napped, woolen fabric for coats.

Origin:
1595–1605; < Spanish, perhaps, equivalent to chinche chinch + -illa < Latin -illa diminutive suffix

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World English Dictionary
chinchilla (tʃɪnˈtʃɪlə)
 
n
1.  a small gregarious hystricomorph rodent, Chinchilla laniger, inhabiting mountainous regions of South America: family Chinchillidae. It has a stocky body and is bred in captivity for its soft silvery grey fur
2.  the highly valued fur of this animal
3.  mountain chinchilla, mountain viscacha any of several long-tailed rodents of the genus Lagidium, having coarse poor quality fur
4.  a breed of rabbit with soft silver-grey fur
5.  a thick napped woollen cloth used for coats
 
[C17: from Spanish, perhaps from Aymara]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chinchilla
1593, from Sp., lit. "little bug" (see chinch); probably an alteration of a word from Quechua or Aymara.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Others include chinchilla, lynx, muskrats and coyotes.
Equally unaware are the chinchilla and the tiny, mouselike marsupial nibbling seeds nearby.
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