from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several burrowing rodents of the genus Cynomys, having light brown fur and a warning call that sounds similar to a dog's bark. Prairie dogs lives in large colonies, chiefly in the Great Plains of North America.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small, stout-bodied burrowing rodent with shallow cheek pouches, native to North America and Central America.
  • verb 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.
  • verb slang, euphemistic To struggle to hold back an involuntary bowel movement.

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

  • noun any of several rodents of North American prairies living in large complex burrows having a barking cry


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

prairie + dog

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

By analogy with how the animal pops its head up from its burrow.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word prairie dog.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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