Arctic ground squirrel

variants: or less commonly arctic ground squirrel or Arctic squirrel or arctic squirrel

Definition of Arctic ground squirrel

: a large ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) of Alaska, northwestern Canada, and Siberia, that is grayish tan with a reddish face and chest, lives in large colonies, and hibernates for long periods in underground burrows When we hiked across the tundra, we were greeted by Arctic ground squirrels, called sik sik by natives for their scolding tone.— Michael Dobrin, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2007 A biologist in Alaska has uncovered a hibernating mammal that routinely tolerates a body temperature below zero. The creature in question is the arctic ground squirrel, Spermophilus parryii.— Stephen Young, New Scientist, 29 July 1989 … frequent stops to view caribou, moose, foxes, Dall sheep, eagles, hawks, Arctic squirrels and beavers …— Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 6 Sept. 1992

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Arctic ground squirrel

1820, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Arctic ground squirrel

Time Traveler for Arctic ground squirrel

Time Traveler

The first known use of Arctic ground squirrel was in 1820

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Arctic ground squirrel

Cite this Entry

“Arctic ground squirrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on Arctic ground squirrel

What made you want to look up Arctic ground squirrel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!