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

  • n. The ground squirrel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A terrestrial burrowing rodent; ground squirrel

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any ground squirrel of the genus Spermophilus; a gopher. See Illust. under gopher.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rodent quadruped of the genus Spermophilus, as a ground-squirrel or suslik, of which there are numerous species in Europe, Asia, and North America. See cuts under suslik and Spermophilus.
  • n. A fringilline bird of the genus Spermophila; a little seed-eater, of which there are numerous Central and South American species. See cut under grassquit.

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

  • n. any of various terrestrial burrowing rodents of Old and New Worlds; often destroy crops


From spermo- + -phile, hence, "seed-lover". (Wiktionary)


  • In the Middle West, especially in Indiana, the little spermophile, sometimes called the ground-squirrel, is common and not afraid to venture into the outskirts of a village.

    On the Trail An Outdoor Book for Girls

  • But for the poor spermophile nothing I could do in the way of revival was of any avail.

    The Story of My Boyhood and Youth

  • Every boy and girl loves the little fairy, airy striped chipmunk, half squirrel, half spermophile.

    The Story of My Boyhood and Youth

  • Strange that no squirrel or spermophile I yet have found ever seemed to have anything like enough of Scotch religion to enjoy this grand old tune.

    Travels in Alaska

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.