Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various short-tailed, burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae of North America, having fur-lined external cheek pouches. Also called pocket gopher.
  • n. Any of various ground squirrels of the genus Citellus of North American prairies.
  • n. Any of several burrowing tortoises of the genus Gopherus, especially G. polyphemus of the southeast United States.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small burrowing rodent, especially in the family Geomyidae
  • n. The gopher tortoise
  • n. Alternative spelling of gofer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of several North American burrowing rodents of the genera Geomys and Thomomys, of the family Geomyidæ; -- called also pocket gopher and pouched rat. See pocket gopher, and tucan.
  • n. One of several western American species of the genus Spermophilus, of the family Sciuridæ; as, the gray gopher (Spermophilus Franklini) and the striped gopher (S. tridecemlineatus); -- called also striped prairie squirrel, leopard marmot, and leopard spermophile. See Spermophile.
  • n. A large land tortoise (Testudo Carilina) of the Southern United States, which makes extensive burrows.
  • n. A large burrowing snake (Spilotes Couperi) of the Southern United States.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In mining, to begin or carry on mining operations at haphazard, or on a small scale; mine without any reference to the possibility of future permanent development. Such mine-openings are frequently called gopher-holes and coyote-holes.
  • n. One of the pouched rats or pocket-gophers, sundry species of the rodent family Geomyidœ and genera Geomys and Thomomys. See these words, and cut under Geomyidæ.
  • n. One of the spermophiles, burrowing squirrels, or ground-squirrels of the family Sciuridœ, subfamily Spermophilinœ, and genera Cynomys, Spermophilus, and Tamias.
  • n. The Testudo (or Xerobates) carolina, a tortoise from 12 to 15 inches long, of gregarious nocturnal and fossorial habits, abundant in the southern Atlantic States.
  • n. A snake, Spilote scouperi. Also called gopher snake.
  • n. In some parts of the southern United States, a plow.
  • n. A kind of waffle. See gofer.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. burrowing edible land tortoise of southeastern North America
  • n. burrowing rodent of the family Geomyidae having large external cheek pouches; of Central America and southwestern North America
  • n. any of various terrestrial burrowing rodents of Old and New Worlds; often destroy crops
  • n. a native or resident of Minnesota
  • n. a zealously energetic person (especially a salesman)

Etymologies

Probably short for earlier megopher, gopher tortoise, of unknown origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from French gaufre, based on the analogy of holes in the ground to the indentations in a waffle. (Wiktionary)

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