Prairie dog
Prairie Prai"rie, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie, LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.] 1. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually characterized by a deep, fertile soil. They abound throughout the Mississippi valley, between the Alleghanies and the Rocky mountains. [1913 Webster]

From the forests and the prairies, From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called natural meadow. [1913 Webster]

{Prairie chicken} (Zo["o]l.), any American grouse of the genus {Tympanuchus}, especially {Tympanuchus Americanus} (formerly {Tympanuchus cupido}), which inhabits the prairies of the central United States. Applied also to the sharp-tailed grouse.

{Prairie clover} (Bot.), any plant of the leguminous genus {Petalostemon}, having small rosy or white flowers in dense terminal heads or spikes. Several species occur in the prairies of the United States.

{Prairie dock} (Bot.), a coarse composite plant ({Silphium terebinthaceum}) with large rough leaves and yellow flowers, found in the Western prairies.

{Prairie dog} (Zo["o]l.), a small American rodent ({Cynomys Ludovicianus}) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like that of a dog. Called also {prairie marmot}.

{Prairie grouse}. Same as {Prairie chicken}, above.

{Prairie hare} (Zo["o]l.), a large long-eared Western hare ({Lepus campestris}). See {Jack rabbit}, under 2d {Jack}.

{Prairie hawk}, {Prairie falcon} (Zo["o]l.), a falcon of Western North America ({Falco Mexicanus}). The upper parts are brown. The tail has transverse bands of white; the under parts, longitudinal streaks and spots of brown.

{Prairie hen}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Prairie chicken}, above.

{Prairie itch} (Med.), an affection of the skin attended with intense itching, which is observed in the Northern and Western United States; -- also called {swamp itch}, {winter itch}.

{Prairie marmot}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Prairie dog}, above.

{Prairie mole} (Zo["o]l.), a large American mole ({Scalops argentatus}), native of the Western prairies.

{Prairie pigeon}, {Prairie plover}, or {Prairie snipe} (Zo["o]l.), the upland plover. See {Plover}, n., 2.

{Prairie rattlesnake} (Zo["o]l.), the massasauga.

{Prairie snake} (Zo["o]l.), a large harmless American snake ({Masticophis flavigularis}). It is pale yellow, tinged with brown above.

{Prairie squirrel} (Zo["o]l.), any American ground squirrel of the genus {Spermophilus}, inhabiting prairies; -- called also {gopher}.

{Prairie turnip} (Bot.), the edible turnip-shaped farinaceous root of a leguminous plant ({Psoralea esculenta}) of the Upper Missouri region; also, the plant itself. Called also {pomme blanche}, and {pomme de prairie}.

{Prairie warbler} (Zo["o]l.), a bright-colored American warbler ({Dendroica discolor}). The back is olive yellow, with a group of reddish spots in the middle; the under parts and the parts around the eyes are bright yellow; the sides of the throat and spots along the sides, black; three outer tail feathers partly white.

{Prairie wolf}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Coyote}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • prairie dog — prairie dogs N COUNT A prairie dog is a type of small furry animal that lives underground in the prairies of North America …   English dictionary

  • prairie dog — n a small animal with a short tail, which lives in holes on the prairies …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • prairie dog — prairie ,dog noun count a small brown animal that lives in holes in the ground on the prairies of North America …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • prairie dog — ☆ prairie dog n. any of a genus (Cynomys, family Sciuridae) of small, burrowing rodents of North America, having a barking cry and living in colonies …   English World dictionary

  • Prairie dog — This article is about the animal. For other uses, see Prairie dog (disambiguation). Prairie dogs Temporal range: Late Pliocene to Recent Black tailed prairie dogs Scientifi …   Wikipedia

  • prairie dog — any of several burrowing rodents of the genus Cynomys, of North American prairies, having a barklike cry: some are endangered. [1765 75, Amer.] * * * Any of five species (genus Cynomys) of short legged, terrestrial squirrels, named for their… …   Universalium

  • prairie dog — noun any of several rodents of North American prairies living in large complex burrows having a barking cry (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑prairie marmot • Hypernyms: ↑rodent, ↑gnawer • Hyponyms: ↑blacktail prairie dog, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • prairie dog — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms prairie dog : singular prairie dog plural prairie dogs a small brown animal that lives in holes in the ground on the prairies of North America …   English dictionary

  • prairie dog — prai′rie dog n. mam any burrowing squirrel of the genus Cynomys, of W North American and N Mexican plains and prairies, having a barklike cry • Etymology: 1765–75, amer …   From formal English to slang

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