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 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 The Tri-County Health Department said Thursday that prairie dog burrows in Commerce City are being sprayed with insecticide to kill fleas that could transmit the disease to the rodents, people and pets., "Prairie dog plague outbreak cancels fireworks show after Colorado Rapids game," 2 Aug. 2019 Our dogs chased prairie dogs, pheasants, grouse and antelope, and alerted us to rattlesnakes and jack rabbits. New York Times, "Sean Sherman’s 10 Essential Native American Recipes," 7 Nov. 2019 Health officials in Colorado have been coating prairie dog holes with an insecticide powder. Morgan Krakow,, "Plague-infected prairie dogs prompt shutdown of wildlife refuges in Colorado," 18 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

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The first known use of prairie dog was in 1774

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Statistics for prairie dog

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prairie dog.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 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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