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Guinea pigs have long been used in laboratory tests and experiments, though they have largely been replaced by rats and mice in more recent years.
1. noun Someone or something used as the subject of an experiment. Jane used her husband as a guinea pig to try her new baked chicken recipe. Craig earned a little extra money by signing up to be a guinea pig in some local clinical studies.
2. verb To test something out, especially when its quality or effects are uncertain or unknown. I would avoid guinea pigging anything Jane makes—she's a terrible cook. Don't guinea pig this eyebrow dye, unless you're OK with potentially looking ridiculous.
3. verb To be subjected to medical tests that are experimental or unproven. A: "You could guinea-pig to pay for your college tuition." B: "No way—it freaks me out too much." Did you really agree to guinea-pig this new drug trial?
slang The act or practice of subjecting someone or oneself to medical tests that are experimental or unproven. I considered guinea-pigging to pay for my college tuition, but I just couldn't do it—it freaked me out too much. Guinea-pigging is the only way for us to test this new drug before bringing it to market.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a guinea pig
COMMON If someone is used as a guinea pig, new ideas, methods, or medical treatments are tested on them. The new technology should allow us to study genetic disease without having to use humans as guinea pigs. This is the first time I've cooked this dish so you are my guinea pigs.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
a ˈguinea piga person used in medical or other experiments: Students in fifty schools are to act as guinea pigs for these new teaching methods.
A guinea pig is a small animal with short ears and no tail, often kept as a pet or used for laboratory research.
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