white-footed mouse


white-foot·​ed mouse ˈ(h)wīt-ˌfu̇-təd- How to pronounce white-footed mouse (audio)
: any of various largely nocturnal mice (genus Peromyscus) of North and Central America typically having whitish feet and underparts
especially : a common woodland mouse (P. leucopus) of North America

Illustration of white-footed mouse

Illustration of white-footed mouse

Examples of white-footed mouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, white-footed mice, the main carriers of Lyme disease, have become one of the most dominant species in their habitat as other, rarer animals have disappeared—a change that might have played a role, among other factors, in driving rising rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2024 The natural reservoir for these bacteria are small mammals like the white-footed mouse. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 6 Oct. 2023 Think owls, foxes, and coyotes, who prey on white-footed mice, a vector for lyme disease that ticks catch when feeding on the mice. Benjamin Vogt, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 June 2023 These ticks are about the size of a poppy seed and found on small mammals like the white-footed mice living in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Jocelyn Solis-Moreira, Popular Science, 27 Mar. 2023 Ticks the size of poppy seeds pick up the parasites that cause babesiosis by feeding on white-footed mice, according to the TickEncounter Resource Center. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Mar. 2023 Those parasites are usually carried by ticks, white-footed mice, and other small mammals, according to the CDC. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 16 Mar. 2023 The link: small, acorn-eating rodents, particularly the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), whose populations also shot up during strong acorn years—and whose furry bodies are a great source for the blood that the ticks need in their nymph stage. Kat Eschner, Scientific American, 7 July 2022 In this view, distinguishing one Omicron sublineage from another is less like distinguishing a wolf from a cow and more like distinguishing a white-footed mouse from a deer mouse: important to a rodentologist but not really to anyone else. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 9 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'white-footed mouse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of white-footed mouse was in 1827

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Cite this Entry

“White-footed mouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white-footed%20mouse. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

white-footed mouse

white-foot·​ed mouse ˌ(h)wīt-ˌfu̇t-əd- How to pronounce white-footed mouse (audio)
: a common woodland mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) that has whitish feet and underparts and that is a reservoir for the spirochete of the genus Borrelia (B. burgdorferi) causing Lyme disease

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