from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large semiaquatic rodent (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) of tropical South America, having short limbs and a vestigial tail and often attaining lengths of more than 1.2 meters (4 feet).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The largest living rodent (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), native to South America, living partly on land and partly in water.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large South American rodent (Hydrochærus capybara) Living on the margins of lakes and rivers. It is the largest extant rodent, being about three feet long, and half that in height. It somewhat resembles the Guinea pig, to which it is related; -- called also cabiai and water hog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See capibara.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. pig-sized tailless South American amphibious rodent with partly webbed feet; largest living rodent


Portuguese capybara, from Tupi capivara, capibara : capii, grass + urara, eater.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old Tupi. One possible derivation is from ka'apiûara ("slender leaf (grass) eater"), from kaá ("leaf") + píi ("slender") + ú ("eat") + ara (agentive suffix). (Wiktionary)



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