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See also: Capybara


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From Old Tupi; possibly from ka'apiûara (slender leaf (grass) eater), from kaá (leaf) + píi (slender) + ú (eat) + ara (agentive suffix).[1]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kapɪˈbɑːɹə/[2]
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌkæpiˈbɛɹə/, /ˌkæpiˈbɑɹə/, /ˌkæpiˈbæɹə/[3]


capybara (plural capybaras)

  1. A semi-aquatic South American rodent, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, the largest living rodent.
    • 1876, William H. G. Kingston, The Three Lieutenants, 2010, page 430,
      “Our fires burned well,” continued Tom, “and we roasted our young capybara to perfection; we only wanted salt and pepper, and an onion or two to make it delicious. [] "
    • 1914, Theodore Roosevelt, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, 2004, page 53,
      It was tenanted by the small caymans and by capybaras - the largest known rodent, a huge aquatic guinea-pig, the size of a small sheep.
    • 2009, The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife, page 106,
      The largest of all the 1,729 rodent species, the semi-aquatic capybara is extremely agile in the water, using its partly webbed toes like tiny paddles. Troops containing up to 20 animals live along riverbanks where young capybaras are sometimes preyed on by caimans.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ A. B. H. Ferreira, Novo Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa, second edition (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1986) , page 344
  2. ^ "capybara, n.", in the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ "capybara" in Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., New York: Merriam-Webster.