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 ?
Assuming that the pack rats have a limited range, when the researchers found agave in a midden within the Grand Canyon, they proposed that the location had been above this temperature.
In the dry areas of the US south west, experts have investigated the nest of desert pack rats held together by sticky urine as a way of reconstructing its past vegetation and climate, while hyena droppings have a similar tale to tell in South Africa.
As we teased each other about our common affliction as pack rats, he offered tips on organizing the documents and clippings I was collecting.
Of course, if there'd been grouting between the boards, that might have stopped some of the rain, but we bought what the lady said, and bought the cabin, and the pack rats (which is what she'd meant), and a kerosene water heater that threatened us with extinction every time we needed a bath.
Like pack rats, voters gather bits and pieces of political information and store them in a single place.
In fact, it is drowning us because so many of us are pack rats when it comes to information useless and otherwise.
There are so many pack rats around that someone else is probably keeping a copy.
With National Pack Rat Day on May 17, a new national survey found that while only 20 percent of the population consider themselves to be pack rats, more than 30 percent of those surveyed are holding onto things longer due to the economy.
Since he had started his job catching pack rats, he'd caught and released a dozen of the pesky rodents into the desert, away from houses.
Basements of the pack rats in your family are other possible sources of garden art.