prairie dog

noun

Definition of prairie dog

: any of a genus (Cynomys) of gregarious burrowing rodents of the squirrel family chiefly of central and western U.S. plains especially : a black-tailed rodent (C. ludovicianus) that usually lives in extensive colonial burrows

Illustration of prairie dog

Illustration of prairie dog

Examples of prairie dog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ferrets particularly favored black-tailed prairie dog colonies, like the ones that currently cover Thunder Basin. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "The fight to save America’s most endangered mammal," 5 Mar. 2021 They were thought extinct — victims of habitat loss as ranchers shot and poisoned off prairie dog colonies that made rangelands less suitable for cattle — until a ranch dog named Shep brought a dead one home in Wyoming in 1981. Mead Gruver, USA TODAY, "Scientists have cloned the first US endangered species: A black-footed ferret that died 30 years ago," 19 Feb. 2021 They were thought extinct — victims of habitat loss as ranchers shot and poisoned off prairie dog colonies that made rangelands less suitable for cattle — until a ranch dog named Shep brought a dead one home in Wyoming in 1981. NBC News, "Scientists clone the first U.S. endangered species," 19 Feb. 2021 The campground was set in the middle of a prairie dog town. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, "I Saw an Epic Sunset at Badlands National Park," 3 Nov. 2020 In my altered state, the prairie dog has come back to half-life and is taunting me. The Editors, Field & Stream, "The Best Campfire Stories You’ve Never Heard," 29 Sep. 2020 Andy stays up half the night, doing surgery on the prairie dog to insert a treble hook and rubbing an entire bottle of Gink floatant into the tail. The Editors, Field & Stream, "The Best Campfire Stories You’ve Never Heard," 29 Sep. 2020 Finally, your pets should not hunt or roam rodent habitats, such as prairie dog colonies. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Why is the plague still a thing in 2020? And are you at risk of getting it?," 19 Aug. 2020 Even then, if all the prairie dogs have died, ferrets will starve. Elizabeth Miller, Scientific American, "Why Are America’s Black-Footed Ferrets Disappearing?," 9 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prairie dog.' 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 prairie dog

1774, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for prairie dog

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The first known use of prairie dog was in 1774

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Last Updated

12 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prairie dog.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prairie%20dog. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for prairie dog

prairie dog

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prairie dog

: a small animal that lives on the prairies of the central and western U.S.

prairie dog

noun

Kids Definition of prairie dog

: a burrowing animal of the prairies of the central and western United States that is related to the squirrel and lives in large colonies

More from Merriam-Webster on prairie dog

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about prairie dog

Comments on prairie dog

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