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[ham-ster] /ˈhæm stər/
any of several short-tailed, stout-bodied, burrowing rodents, as Cricetus cricetus, of Europe and Asia, having large cheek pouches.
Origin of hamster
1600-10; < German; compare Old High German hamastro, Old Saxon hamstra weevil Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hamster
  • The high initial investment costs of nuclear power are largely because of the hamster-and-cogs regulatory system.
  • He was lying in his own excrement and drank from a hamster bottle attached to the side of the cage.
  • Early on, you'll find an obese hamster you'll need to exercise using a boxful of toys.
  • In this particular case, a protein needed by anemia patients was produced in hamster ovary cells.
  • Board games and puzzles teeter over the hamster's cage.
  • Imagine two human-sized hamster wheels held together in a metal figure-eight framework.
  • Then they mixed it with unlabeled prion protein isolated from scrapie-infected hamster brains.
  • He didn't mean not to vaccinate, he meant not to keep your kids in a hamster bubble.
  • She seemed to drink a lot, about half a hamster bottle each day.
  • Losing half your blood volume is a tough thing to survive, even if you're a hamster in a controlled laboratory study.
British Dictionary definitions for hamster


any Eurasian burrowing rodent of the tribe Cricetini, such as Mesocricetus auratus (golden hamster), having a stocky body, short tail, and cheek pouches: family Cricetidae. They are popular pets
Word Origin
C17: from German, from Old High German hamustro, of Slavic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hamster

c.1600, from German Hamster, from Middle High German hamastra "hamster," probably from Old Church Slavonic chomestoru "hamster" (the animal is native to southeastern Europe), perhaps a blend of Russian chomiak and Lithuanian staras, both meaning "hamster." The older English name for it was German rat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hamster in Technology

1. (From Fairchild) A particularly slick little piece of code that does one thing well; a small, self-contained hack. The image is of a hamster happily spinning its exercise wheel.
2. A tailless mouse; that is, one with an infrared link to a receiver on the machine, as opposed to the conventional cable.
3. (UK) Any item of hardware made by Amstrad, a company famous for its cheap plastic PC-almost-compatibles.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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