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Norway rat


a common domestic rat; serious pest worldwide


animal noun (animals and microorganisms)


Norway rats

Original source:

Princeton WordNet


sewer rat | wharf rat


Rattus norvegicus [species] | brown rat | common rat | R. norvegicus [abbreviation, species]


First used by John Berkenhour in 1769. The name is probably his as well, from a ...
(Source: Wiktionary)  [more]

Definition references  (+images)


Brown rat | common rat | street rat | sewer rat | Hanover rat | Norway rat | brown Norway rat | Norwegian rat | wharf rat

one of the best known and most common rats. One of the largest muroids, it's a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g and the female 250 g. Thought to have originated in northern ... (51 of 9368 words, 6 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Brown rat

New World Dictionary:

brown rat | Rattus norvegicus [species] | Norway rat

a common, omnivorous large rat that swims and dives well, usually lives in underground burrows, and spreads various diseases: the mutant form, a white ... (24 of 34 words, 1 image)



brown rat | brown rats [plural] | common rat [synonym] | Norway rat [synonym] | Norwegian rat [synonym] | wharf rat [synonym] | Rattus norvegicus [species] | Norway rats [plural] | wharf rats [plural] | ...

A species of rat, Rattus norvegicus, common worldwide. (8 of 9 words, 1 image)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/brown rat

Columbia Encyclopedia:

rat | Norway rat

name applied to various stout-bodied rodents, usually having a pointed muzzle, long slender tail, and dexterous forepaws. It refers particularly to ... (21 of 435 words)


Collins Dictionary:

brown rat | Norway rat [synonym] | sewer rat

a common brownish rat, "Rattus norvegicus": a serious pest in all parts of the world (15 of 322 words, 2 usage examples)


Oxford Dictionary:

brown rat | common rat [synonym] | Norway rat [synonym] | Rattus norvegicus [species] | sewer rat | Muridae [family, member of]

a rat found throughout the world, typically living in association with man and regarded as a pest. It's commonly kept as a laboratory animal and as a ... (27 of 66 words)


Random House Dictionary:

Norway rat | brown rat [synonym] | Rattus norvegicus [species]

an Old World rat having a grayish-brown body with whitish underparts and a long, scaly tail, now common in the United States in or near homes, barns, ... (27 of 40 words)



brown rat | Norway rat | Rattus norvegicus [species]

a common domestic rat that has been introduced worldwide (9 of 35 words)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/brown rat

American Heritage Dictionary:

Norway rat | brown rat | Rattus norvegicus [species]

The common domestic rat, which is highly destructive and found worldwide, especially in populated areas. (15 of 24 words)


Britannica Encyclopedia:

rodent [mammal] | Delanymys brooksi [species] | Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris [species] | Rattus norvegicus [species] | Mus musculus [species]

any of more than 2,050 living species of mammals characterized by upper and lower pairs of ever-growing rootless incisor teeth. Rodents are the ... (23 of 874 words, 4 images)


Macmillan British Dictionary:

rat [countable] | rats [plural] | like rats deserting a sinking ship | look like a drowned rat

an animal like a large mouse with a long tail | [informal] someone who is not loyal or who tricks you | "like rats deserting a sinking ship": in a ... (28 of 83 words, 4 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)


rat [verb] | ratted [past tense] | ratted on [past tense] | ratting [present participle] | ratting on [present participle] | rats [3rd-person singular present] | rats on [3rd-person singular present] | rat on [I/you/we/they, related]

rat on [transitive, informal] | to tell someone in authority about something that someone you know has done wrong | [British] to not do something that ... (24 of 77 words, 3 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/rat 10

Cambridge Dictionary:

rat [entry 1]

a small rodent, larger than a mouse, which has a long tail and is considered to be harmful (18 of 39 words, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/rat 1

rat [entry 2, informal]

an unpleasant person who deceives others or is not loyal (10 of 19 words, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/rat 2

Encarta Dictionary:

brown rat | brown rats [plural] | Rattus norvegicus [species] | Norway rat [zoology] | Norway rats [zoology, plural]

an extremely destructive rat found in populated areas. Native to: originally Europe and Asia, now worldwide. (16 of 32 words)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861686762​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology reference


Norway rat | Norway rats [plural]

Origin: First used by John Berkenhour in 1769. The name is probably his as well, from a mistaken idea of rodents migrating on Danish ships.

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/Norway rat

Audio reference

YourDictionary Audio:

Norway rat

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "Norway rat" by speech synthesizer


Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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