prairie dog


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 Although it has been commonly used on everything from prairie dogs to elk, the round appealed to open-country hunters pursuing deer and pronghorn antelope due to its relatively high velocity and flat trajectory. Mike Dickerson, Field & Stream, "10 Wildcat Calibers That Made the Grade," 22 Jan. 2020 Bubonic plague can be transmitted via infected fleas and animals, like prairie dogs, squirrels, rats and rabbits, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Third case of plague linked to Black Death found in China after hunter eats wild rabbit," 19 Nov. 2019 Bushnell’s Deploy reticle is among the simplest of the hash-mark-heavy options out there, and 4.5- to 27-power provides ridiculous versatility, whether plinking at long-range or cleaning up prairie dogs. Michael R. Shea, Field & Stream, "The 10 Best Rimfire Scopes for Any Budget," 3 Jan. 2020 All that noshing on grassy plains creates the preferred environment for prairie dogs to set up shop, and those populations attract other animals like coyotes and birds of prey that keep the ecosystem in check. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Bison return to an area of Badlands National Park for the first time in nearly 150 years," 14 Oct. 2019 Elk, bison, prairie dogs, and 70,000 annual visitors keep Roosevelt’s vision alive. National Geographic, "Beat the crowds at these abandoned U.S. national parks," 9 Nov. 2019 Lipps said to remain vigilant for the tiny pests after coming in contact with a prairie dog. John Marinelli, The Denver Post, "Colorado teens save drowning prairie dog by performing CPR: “This thing is not going to die on our watch”," 4 Oct. 2019 There are memes depicting the band's lead singer, Trey Anastasio, as a prairie dog. Brian Ries, CNN, "Camping is canceled at Phish's Colorado concerts. Blame the plague-infected prairie dogs," 20 Aug. 2019 Thousands of people who planned to camp during three days of Phish concerts at a stadium outside the city will no longer be able to because of concerns that fleas in and around nearby prairie dog burrows could spread the plague. USA TODAY, "‘Stranger’ tourists, Phish and the plague, kinkajou attack: News from around our 50 states," 22 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of prairie dog was in 1774

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Statistics for prairie dog

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prairie dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for prairie dog

prairie dog


English Language Learners Definition of prairie dog

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

prairie dog


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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prairie dog Encyclopedia article about prairie dog

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