gopher

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

gopher

noun (2)
go·​pher

less common spelling of

informal
: 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 black and white tegus have been documented using gopher tortoise burrows and eating tortoise and alligator eggs, as well as the tortoise young. NBC News, "Invasive South American lizard sighted in Georgia for 3rd year, conservation group says," 13 May 2020 No more rat droppings in the crawl space or in or on the mechanical equipment that is there, and the mole and gopher holes on our hillside have decreased again. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Going out on a limb to protect Bay Area paper wasps," 26 Aug. 2019 The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as fictional TV actor Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt as his stuntman-cum-gopher Cliff Booth, and Margot Robbie as the real-life actress Sharon Tate. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," 1 Apr. 2020 The new site alone may have as many as four gopher tortoise populations that are capable of sustaining themselves, said Maria Whitehead, senior program manager for the Open Space Institute. BostonGlobe.com, "ATLANTA — Conservation groups have purchased a swath of land in Georgia that they describe as one of the largest unprotected open space parcels along the southeast Atlantic Coast.," 9 Dec. 2019 In Alabama, the snakes depend on gopher tortoise burrows to make it through the winter, but those burrows can also cause problems. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "This imperiled Alabama snake eats rattlesnakes, copperheads for breakfast," 30 Oct. 2019 Indigo snakes are closely associated with gopher tortoise burrows in Alabama, especially in the winter. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Longest snake in North America found breeding in Alabama for first time since 1954," 22 Jan. 2020 The levees, some of which have been around for 150 years, are a major source of concern for geologists, who have warned that an earthquake, heavy storm or even a large gopher colony could cause a breach. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "The delta’s sinking islands," 12 Jan. 2020 The new site alone may have as many as four gopher tortoise populations that are capable of sustaining themselves, said Maria Whitehead, senior program manager for the Open Space Institute. BostonGlobe.com, "ATLANTA — Conservation groups have purchased a swath of land in Georgia that they describe as one of the largest unprotected open space parcels along the southeast Atlantic Coast.," 9 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for gopher

Time Traveler

The first known use of gopher was in 1791

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Statistics for gopher

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gopher.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gopher. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for gopher

gopher

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gopher

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gopher

Spanish Central: Translation of gopher

Nglish: Translation of gopher for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gopher

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