pack-rat


pack-rat
pack-rat (n.) common name for the North American bushytailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) is attested from 1885, from PACK (Cf. pack) (v.), from the rodent's habit of dragging objects off to their holes. Used figuratively or allusively of persons who won't discard anything from c.1850, which means either the rat's name is older than that or the human sense is the original one.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pack-rat — packˈ rat noun A kind of long tailed rat, native to the western part of N America • • • Main Entry: ↑pack …   Useful english dictionary

  • pack rat — pack′ rat n. 1) mam any North and Central American rat of the genus Neotoma, noted for carrying off shiny articles to its nest 2) inf Informal. a person who collects, saves, or hoards useless small items …   From formal English to slang

  • pack rat — n AmE informal someone who collects and stores things that they do not really need …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pack rat — pack ,rat noun count 1. ) AMERICAN INFORMAL someone who keeps or collects a lot of different things, even when they are not useful or valuable 2. ) a small North American animal similar to a mouse that collects small objects …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pack rat — ☆ pack rat n. 1. any of a genus (Neotoma) of North American rats that often carry off and hide small articles in their nests 2. Informal a person who habitually saves unneeded, miscellaneous items …   English World dictionary

  • Pack rat — This article is about the rodent. For other uses, see Pack rat (disambiguation). Packrats Temporal range: Late Cenozoic Recent Neotoma cinerea …   Wikipedia

  • pack rat — packrat packrat, pack rat pack rat . 1. Any of several bushy tailed rodents of the genus {Neotoma} of western North America, especially {Neotoma cinerea}, which hoard food and other objects in their nests. Syn: trade rat, bushytail woodrat,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pack rat — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms pack rat : singular pack rat plural pack rats 1) American informal someone who keeps or collects a lot of different things, even when they are not useful or valuable 2) a small North American animal similar to… …   English dictionary

  • pack rat — {n.}, {informal} A person who cannot part with old, useless objects; an avid collector of useless things; a junk hoarder. * / Why are there so many things in this room? John asked. It is my brother s room, and he is a pack rat; he is unable to… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pack rat — {n.}, {informal} A person who cannot part with old, useless objects; an avid collector of useless things; a junk hoarder. * / Why are there so many things in this room? John asked. It is my brother s room, and he is a pack rat; he is unable to… …   Dictionary of American idioms


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