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.


Examples of gopher snake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cadden added that after speaking to a Game and Fish expert on reptiles, the slithery creature appeared to be a gopher snake, one of the most common nonvenomous snakes in Arizona. Rey Covarrubias Jr., The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2024 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gopher snake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

gopher snake


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