ground squirrel


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 Marmots a type of large ground squirrel that is eaten in some parts of China and the neighboring country Mongolia, and which have historically caused plague outbreaks in the region. Nectar Gan And Jessie Yeung, CNN, "China seals off village after bubonic plague death in Inner Mongolia," 7 Aug. 2020 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, "Hikes near Anchorage, no matter how much time you have," 28 May 2020 Whereas some fears are innate—such as humans’ fear of spiders or snakes or a ground squirrel’s fear of foxes—others are learned, either through direct experience or observing others. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "How the Coronavirus Has Changed Animals’ Landscape of Fear," 21 May 2020 Varmint hunting encompasses a wide variety of critters, ranging in size from ground squirrels to even feral hogs. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "The 30 Best AR-Style Rifles for Hunting and Personal Defense," 17 Sep. 2019 Just is the second photographer in recent memory to capture a ground squirrel smelling a yellow flower. Fox News, "Photographer captures squirrel smelling yellow flowers: 'Nature at its most beautiful'," 27 Feb. 2020 In the clip, captured at ’s Kruger National Park, a Cape cobra, which would be intimidating to many much larger mammals, including this human, is seen lunging at a Cape ground squirrel. Melissa Locker, Time, "Tough Squirrel Mother Will Stop at Nothing to Protect the Babies From a Cobra in This Intense Standoff," 3 Mar. 2020 In these short-term alliances, the badger takes advantage of prey driven underground by the coyote, while the coyote benefits from burrowing prey, like ground squirrels, chased above ground by the badger. National Geographic, "American badger," 14 Feb. 2020 For instance, observations in Wyoming have revealed that coyotes that team up with badgers save energy and likely time by not having to search, chase, and stalk Uinta ground squirrels. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 5 Feb. 2020

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

Time Traveler for ground squirrel

Time Traveler

The first known use of ground squirrel was in 1688

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ground squirrel

Last Updated

17 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ground squirrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on ground squirrel 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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