A South American rodent with a sturdy body and vestigial tail.
Family Caviidae: five genera and several species, in particular the guinea pig‘It includes two subfamilies: the Caviinae, the cavies and the familiar guinea pigs; and the Dolichotinae, the Patagonian hares or maras.’
- ‘And only when they had taken a closer look at the almost complete skeleton did they realize they had a caviomorph, cousin to the modern cavy or guinea pig.’
- ‘He keeps around 80 guinea pigs (also called cavies) on an allotment and feeds them beetroot - ‘the finest thing you can give them’ - which he grows himself.’
- ‘The cavy's an animal from Patagonia, which as you know is in South America at the bottom.’
- ‘Maya is a crested, dark-eyed gold guinea pig, or cavy, and she's the pride and joy of owner and breeder Keith Lakin.’
Late 18th century from modern Latin cavia, from Galibi cabiai.
Are You Learning English? Here Are Our Top English Tips