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From Arabic جَرْبُوع(jarbūʕ) or يَرْبُوع(yarbūʕ).


  • IPA(key): /dʒɜː(ɹ)ˈbəʊ.ə/
  • (file)


jerboa (plural jerboas)

  1. Any of a number of species comprising most of the family Dipodidae, native to the deserts of Asia and northern Africa, being a small, jumping rodent with a long tufted tail, very small forefeet and very long hind legs.
    • 1814, Augustin Calmet; Charles Taylor; Edward Wells, Calmet's Great Dictionary of the Holy Bible, page 293:
      The Arabs, who are forbidden all other kinds of mice, esteem these the greatest delicacies: as those people often are disappointed in digging after them, they have this proverb, "To buy a hole instead of a jerboa."
    • 1999, Ronald M. Nowak, editor, Rodentia; Family Dipopidae: Birch Mice, Jumping Mice, and Jerboas: Walker's Mammals of the World, volume 1, page 1329:
      The permanent burrows may have emergency exits — side tunnels ending at or near the surface — through which the jerboa "bursts" when threatened by a predator. Jerboas often lie on their side when sleeping in the burrow in order to better accommodate their long legs.
    • 2001, Peter Haggett, editor, China and Taiwan: Animal Life: Desert, River and Forest Specialists: Encyclopedia of World Geography, volume 24, page 2796:
      The small mammals include typical desert forms such as the burrowing rodents of the jerboa family and the jird or gerbil subfamily. The jerboas, which are widespread across northern Africa and central Asia, are particularly well represented in China: 7 of the 10 genera and 10 of the 29 species occur in the arid, often cold deserts of the north and west.


  • (rodent of family Dipodidae): dipodid

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  1. partitive singular of jerbo