ground squirrel

noun

Definition of ground squirrel 

: any of various burrowing North American and Eurasian rodents (especially genus Spermophilus) of the squirrel family that often live in colonies especially in open areas (such as grasslands)

called also spermophile

Examples of ground squirrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The ground squirrel darted up to the table, grabbed his keys and scampered into his hole. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "At summer campsite, cute squirrels can go rogue," 9 July 2018 California has several squirrel-like critters: the gray squirrel, Douglas squirrel, ground squirrel, chipmunk and chickaree. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "At summer campsite, cute squirrels can go rogue," 9 July 2018 In 2015 and 2016, plague was identified in ground squirrels. Christina Lords, idahostatesman, "SW Idaho cat infected in problem area known for previous plague cases," 26 June 2018 The skeletons were discovered in dry sagebrush steppe in April 2017, by an Idaho Department of Fish and Game worker checking ground squirrel hunters’ licenses about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the small city of Mountain Home. Washington Post, "500-year-old skeletons headed for Native American tribes," 4 May 2018 Your odds of seeing wild animals — ranging from arctic ground squirrels, marmots and Dall sheep to bears and moose — are good, considering the trail isn't as trafficked as others in the Chugach. Bailey Berg, Anchorage Daily News, "Make the most of your trip with these hikes near Anchorage," 2 May 2018 Similar encounters occur in Bay Area parks, where hikers see bobcats wait, pounce and nab rabbits, or red-tailed hawks circle, hover and plunge to pluck a ground squirrel. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Orcas’ attack on gray whale shows the unfortunate side of nature," 22 Apr. 2018 Wildlife: High numbers of ground squirrels, fair numbers of rabbits, deer. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sunday drive to Pearson-Arastradero Preserve," 8 Apr. 2018 The main culprit is the California ground squirrel, which is native to the region. Phil Diehl, latimes.com, "Squirrels have overrun some coastal cities and lost their fear of humans, officials say," 25 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of ground squirrel

1688, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ground squirrel

Share ground squirrel

Statistics for ground squirrel

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ground squirrel

The first known use of ground squirrel was in 1688

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on ground squirrel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ground squirrel

Comments on ground squirrel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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