gopher snake


: a large, nonvenomous, colubrid snake (Pituophis catenifer) of western and central North America that is a powerful constrictor and is white, tan, yellow, or gray with brown or black squarish blotches see bull snake

Note: The gopher snake was formerly placed in the same species as the pine snake and is sometimes mistakenly identified as a rattlesnake.


Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Its tail is also wide and blunt, compared to the gopher snake’s thinner, more pointed one. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2022 On April 11, Ireland got a call from a family in the San Elijo Hills community of San Marcos, who found a harmless gopher snake trapped in some landscaping fabric behind their fence. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2022 The non-venomous Sonoran gopher snake was a distant runner-up, making up 16% of removals. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, 13 July 2021 Appointing Watt to head Interior was like finding a gopher snake to guard a nest of baby mice. Ted Trueblood, Field & Stream, 29 Nov. 2020 De Niro had to shoot multiple takes with a significantly sized gopher snake. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 9 Oct. 2020 The second snake that most of us got to know was a gopher snake found by a Napa teacher in 1969 and brought to the academy. Peter Hartlaub,, 7 June 2020 Bullsnakes, also known as gopher snakes, are nonvenomous and can grow 4-8 feet in length, according to Minnesota Wildlife Control. Fox News, 10 July 2019 The three wild snakes featured on the model included a corn snake, a gopher snake, and a California snake. Jen Juneau,, 17 June 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of gopher snake was in 1837

Dictionary Entries Near gopher snake

Cite this Entry

“Gopher snake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

gopher snake


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