American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several burrowing rodents of the genus Cynomys in the squirrel family, having light brown fur and a warning call that sounds similar to a dog's bark. The prairie dog lives in large colonies, chiefly in the Great Plains of North America.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sciuromorphic rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ, subfamily Spermophilinæ, and genus Cynomys, of which there are two species, C. ludovicianus and C. columbianus, the former living east and the latter west of the Rocky Mountains: so called from their habitat and from their cry, which is like the barking of a dog. These animals are generally but irregularly distributed in the prairie regions of the Western States and Territories, from the British nearly to the Mexican boundary of the United States; they are gregarious, and many thousands together populate some places called
prairie-dog towns or villages, where they dig deep burrows, the entrance of each of which is surmounted by a mound of earth thrown up in making the excavation. (See second cut under owl.) Some of the larger towns include many hundred acres. Prairie-dogs are about a foot long, of very stout, squat, paunchy form, with low ears, a very short tail, and long strong fore claws; they are of a uniform reddish-gray or fawn color, paler underneath. They subsist entirely on vegetable food. Also called prairie-marmotand wistonwish.
- n. A small, stout-bodied burrowing rodent with shallow cheek pouches, native to North America and Central America.
- v. intransitive, transitive To pop up from a hole or similar in a manner that resembles the way a prairie dog pops his head up from his burrow.
- v. slang, euphemistic To struggle to hold back an involuntary bowel movement.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) a small American rodent (Cynomys Ludovicianus) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like that of a dog. Called also
- n. any of several rodents of North American prairies living in large complex burrows having a barking cry
- prairie + dog (Wiktionary)
“Say you have eighteen white-footed ferrets, with a balanced sex ratio, but the prairie dog colony on which they depend for food and shelter is being killed off by a virus.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘prairie dog’.
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