pack rat

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A person who hoards objects of little worth—e.g., string, old newspapers, etc.—or sentimental value. The pack rat mentality is typical of obsessive-compulsive disorder

pack rat

Psychiatry A person who hoards objects of little worth–eg, string, old newspapers, etc–and lacking sentimental value; the PR mentality is typical of OCD. Cf Obsessive-compulsive disorder.


small, furred mammal; members of the family Murinae (Old World rats) and the family Cricetinae (New World rats) both of the order Rodentia. They are omnivorous, nocturnal, do not hibernate and live commensally with humans. They have pointed snouts, a long, thin, almost hairless tail. Only some of the members of the rat and allied groups are listed below.

rat bite fever
black rat
Old World rat with long tail and ears. Called also Rattus rattus.
brown rat
Old World rat with short tail and ears. Called also Rattus norvegicus.
rat flea
kangaroo rat
a solitary rodent with long legs with which it progresses in leaps like a kangaroo and uses its large tail as a balancer. Called also Dipodomys deserti.
rat leprosy
a chronic, largely cutaneous disease of rats caused by Mycobacterium lepraemurium and characterized by subcutaneous granuloma and similar involvement of superficial lymph nodes, containing large numbers of acid-fast organisms. The disease has little similarity to nor any relationship with human leprosy. See also feline leprosy.
Long-Evans rat
laboratory rat with brown or black head and shoulders.
musk rat
properly called muskrat and is really a water vole. Called also Ondatra zibethica.
pack rat
New World rat-like creature. Called also Neotoma spp., wood rat.
sand rat
see gerbil.
Sprague-Dawley rat
albino laboratory rat.
rat tooth, teeth
describes the type of points on surgical instruments with a single point on one side which interlocks with two points on the other side.
water rat
properly called water vole; in Australia, water rat is a native rodent Hydromys chrysogaster.
white rat
common laboratory rat.
Wistar rat
a white laboratory rat.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cole and Arundel revealed the local ice age climate by considering the unique temperature gradient of the Grand Canyon along with clues from pack rat scat and fossilized pieces of a plant called Utah agave that turn up in middens.
Betancourt notes, however, that the data from pack rat middens are "messy and subject to large uncertainties" because radiocarbon techniques can pinpoint a date only to within roughly 100 years.
The Smead National Pack Rat survey looked into organizational challenges in the home and at work.
We live in an age of pack rats,'' Sanchez of San Dimas Lock-Up said.
Citywide, he puts the number at 900 compulsive pack rats, living in just about every neighborhood, and that may only be the tip of the iceberg.
They all share one thing, obsessive-compulsive behavior,'' says Bogard, known simply as ``Bogie'' by the city's pack rats he tries to help because he knows the truth.
Bogie's boss, Assistant Fire Marshal Alfred Hernandez, says the veteran fire inspector has developed a special relationship with the city's pack rats.
Paper doll collectors are pretty much pack rats,'' says Lance Rayburn, an artist who creates his own celebrity dolls and photo dolls of friends and Dallas-area gay leaders.