noun (1)
go·​pher | \ ˈgō-fər How to pronounce gopher (audio) \

Definition of gopher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a burrowing land tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) of the southern U.S. broadly : any of several related land tortoises

called also gopher tortoise

2a : any of a family (Geomyidae) of burrowing rodents of western North America, Central America, and the southern U.S. that are the size of a large rat and have large cheek pouches opening beside the mouth

called also pocket gopher

b : any of several small ground squirrels (genus Spermophilus) of the prairie region of North America


noun (2)

less common spelling of

: an employee whose duties include running errands : lackey

Illustration of gopher

Illustration of gopher

Noun (1)

gopher 2a

In the meaning defined above

Examples of gopher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The calls come in for snakes of all varieties, including nonvenomous gopher, garter, king, racer, rosy boa and rat snakes. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2022 The play opens with Donny, the owner of a junk shop, admonishing his gopher Bobby for his inattentiveness. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 Caddyshack – An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 1 Apr. 2022 With gopher tortoises listed as threatened, landowners are required to obtain permits from the commission before tortoises are captured and relocated. Jim Turner,, 28 Jan. 2022 At Topo, in downtown Gilbert, the roof is flanked by a 7-foot-tall statue of a gopher. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 11 Nov. 2021 Most people have never heard of, let alone seen, a dusky gopher frog. Tate Watkins, National Review, 29 Oct. 2021 The landowners did not have the inclination, money, or expertise to transform their acreage into dusky-gopher-frog habitat, and a critical-habitat designation gives landowners no incentive to do so. Tate Watkins, National Review, 29 Oct. 2021 Yasushi Suzuki stars as Tatsuo, a frenetic jazz club gopher with dreams of being a singer in the U.S. Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gopher.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gopher

Noun (1)

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gopher

Noun (1)

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries Near gopher



gopher ball

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Statistics for gopher

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gopher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for gopher


go·​pher | \ ˈgō-fər How to pronounce gopher (audio) \

Kids Definition of gopher

1 : a burrowing animal that is about the size of a large rat and has a large fur-lined pouch on the outside of each cheek
2 : a striped ground squirrel of North American prairies
3 : a burrowing land tortoise of the southern United States

More from Merriam-Webster on gopher

Nglish: Translation of gopher for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about gopher


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