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

Most ranchers and farmers view prairie dogs as pests that dig holes where cattle can fall and break legs, yet these remarkable rodents are essential to the ecosystem. Andrew Evans,, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 But Slobodchinoff wasn’t content just to understand prairie dogs. NBC News, "Dogs can't speak human. Here's the tech that could change that.," 11 Jan. 2018 Convincing cattlemen not to shoot or flood or poison a prairie dog colony is part of the long conservation battle and fundamental mission of the American Prairie Reserve. Andrew Evans,, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 Franklin Park Zoo’s prairie dog colony is welcoming 15 tiny additions, as young pups emerge from their underground burrows to greet visitors. Laney Ruckstuhl,, "At Franklin Park Zoo, a family of prairie dogs welcomes 15 pups," 17 May 2018 The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from prairie dogs to wild horses and bison. Washington Post, "North Dakota tries to establish Theodore Roosevelt library," 27 Mar. 2018 The four zones are: Desert: Just beyond the entrance will be a dung beetle globe fountain, rope climb and an animal care facility adjacent to an exhibit featuring prairie dogs, burrowing owls and fennec foxes. Roger Showley,, "$30M record gift will jumpstart a new Children's Zoo, opening in 2021," 12 Jan. 2018 While the animals were housed in a facility in Illinois, some of them infected prairie dogs that were later sold as pets. Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 3 Nov. 2017 The Badlands in the United States are the site of visually stunning scenery and quintessentially American animals such as the bison and the prairie dog. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Top Picks: Smithsonian Channel's 'America’s Badlands,' the movie 'Marjorie Prime,' and more top picks," 15 Dec. 2017

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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The first known use of prairie dog was in 1774

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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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a nest or breeding place

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