a. Either of two rodents of the genus Chinchilla that are native to the mountains of South America and are widely raised in captivity for their soft, pale gray fur.
b. The fur of either of these animals.
2. A thick twilled cloth of wool and cotton used for overcoats.
[Spanish, probably of Aymara origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.