Main definitions of gopher in English

: gopher1gopher2

gopher1

noun

  • 1A burrowing rodent with fur-lined pouches on the outside of the cheeks, found in North and Central America.

    • ‘‘Coyotes, skunks, porcupines, gophers… badgers, white-tail and mule deer - we've seen it all,’ Bruce says.’
    • ‘Experiments revealed the same cells that have also been discovered in rats, gophers, gerbils, mice, and hamsters.’
    • ‘Deer, cottontail rabbits, voles (field mice) and pocket gophers are some of the most common species that damage trees in Nebraska.’
    • ‘If gophers, squirrels or other animal pests are common in your area, planting tasty bulbs, such as lilies, in open soil is a waste of time.’
    • ‘They take other small rodents, shrews, rabbits, gophers, bats, and muskrats as well.’
    • ‘This tool rotates horizontally rather than vertically in the soil, thereby disrupting fewer layers, and the couple hopes it will serve to discourage the gophers.’
    • ‘Unable to burrow into the hard gravel, the gophers may instead have arranged the topsoil into mound shaped nests that proceeded to grow in size over many generations.’
    • ‘Protect beds from gophers and moles by burying wire mesh before planting.’
    • ‘In some communities where gophers are abundant, they consume an amazing fraction of the underground productivity of plants.’
    • ‘The clover enriches the soil with nitrogen, prevents moisture loss, and diverts gophers and rabbits from the tomatoes and beans.’
    • ‘Small mammals, especially rodents such as voles, pocket gophers, and mice make up most of the Great Gray Owl's diet.’
    • ‘Additionally, rodents like gophers may chew on the tapes and leaks can be difficult to repair since they require digging the tapes out.’
    • ‘At a finer scale, species differences in rooting density influence the suitability of soils for burrowing by gophers.’
    • ‘First, it is likely that the bag fragment was carried underground by a squirrel, gopher or other burrowing rodent.’
    • ‘A single pocket gopher may exist within an extensive system of feeding tunnels and chambers.’
    • ‘Aaron's farm has few drainage problems, but his land, like most gardens in his area, teems with ravenous gophers who seem to crave garlic as avidly as any gourmand.’
    • ‘Day and night gophers and rabbits hop through several concentric fences onto the lawn and scuttle out again.’
    • ‘Thus, mima mounds, an often debated feature of prairie grasslands, are sometimes created by gopher burrowing; and many organisms dwelling on rocky coasts create their own micro-landforms in the form of burrows in which they then live.’
    • ‘To discourage voles or gophers, add a handful of sharp gravel to the planting hole or plant bulbs in wire or fabric baskets.’
    • ‘Rodenticides control rats, mice, gophers, and other rodent pests of human habitation and agriculture.’
    1. 1.1
      North American term for ground squirrel
      • ‘What most people call gophers are either 13-lined ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus, or a Richardson’s ground squirrel, Spermophilus richardsonii, and not a true pocket gopher.’
      • ‘Richardson's ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii), colloquially known as gophers, are medium-sized rodents; they are larger than mice and voles.’
  • 2A tortoise of dry sandy regions that excavates tunnels as shelter from the sun, native to the southern US.

    • ‘The gopher tortoise is particularly important because its burrows, sometimes as long as thirty feet, serve as homes for several of the rare species as well as many other more common organisms.’
    • ‘Dark brown and between seven and 15 inches long, the gopher tortoise is found in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.’
    • ‘In the southeastern US, organized rattlesnake hunts destroy gopher tortoise burrows and lead to the deaths of tortoises.’
    • ‘They will bring a gopher tortoise and an alligator - said to be auditorium-friendly.’
    • ‘Curious about the burrows she saw on a trail ride, Dawn investigated the habitat of a Florida neighbor - the gopher tortoise.’
    • ‘Then a large gopher tortoise came racing down the sand path toward me.’
    • ‘Through the efforts at Collier's Reserve, there are now 200 identified species of birds on site and a growing population of rare gopher tortoises.’
    • ‘It spends most of the year underground, often using the burrows of the threatened gopher tortoise.’
    • ‘The goal is to conserve gopher tortoises by managing a conservation site of relocated tortoises and residents as a single viable population.’
    • ‘However, the northernmost range of the gopher tortoise is limited to southern South Carolina.’
    • ‘That's the case in the National Wildlife Refuge, where restoring the native longleaf pine and wiregrass community should provide a springboard for the unusual gopher tortoise.’
    • ‘This disease has been a major factor in the decline of the threatened Mojave population of the desert tortoise and could threaten the survival of the gopher tortoise, too.’
    • ‘There were gopher tortoises here and above us swallow-tailed kites.’
    • ‘The eastern indigo snake, which is on the federal list of threatened species, and the gopher tortoise also live here.’
    • ‘Captive animals have been known to spread pathogens to wild populations when released - it happened to gopher tortoises in the southwest a while back.’
    • ‘Pocket gophers, gopher tortoises, ants, badgers, prairie dogs, wild pigs, and grizzly bears are just a few of the animals that can alter ecological structure and function.’
    • ‘The gopher tortoise is a large turtle that lives in deep burrows, often up to 25 feet in length, in upland habitats usually dominated by stands of longleaf pines.’
    • ‘Surrounding habitats with gopher tortoise burrows have likewise been lost to development and land use changes.’
    1. 2.1North American [usually as modifier]Any of a number of burrowing reptiles and amphibians.
      • ‘The Mississippi gopher frog formerly occurred in the once extensive longleaf pine forests of the lower coastal plain from east of the Mississippi River in Louisiana to the Mobile River delta in Alabama.’
      • ‘We gave final protection to the Mississippi gopher frog on December 4 by listing it as an endangered species.’
      • ‘The Mississippi gopher frog (Rana capita sevosa) was once found in suitable habitat within the Lower Coastal Plain from Florida to eastern Louisiana.’
      • ‘Predators from gopher snakes to lions have to be able to anticipate where their quarry will dart.’
      • ‘One researcher photographed a gopher snake swallowing an owl.’
      • ‘He then films the snakes (mostly gopher and king snakes) as they crawl and feed.’
      • ‘The next, a big gopher snake, fat with spring voles, suns itself on the mown grass.’
      • ‘The Mississippi gopher frog is a mid-sized stocky frog that reaches 3 inches in length.’
      • ‘Because of the small number of remaining Mississippi gopher frogs, the species is extremely vulnerable to even natural processes such as drought and floods, and to further loss, damage, and fragmentation of its habitat.’
  • 3Computing
    A menu-based system for Internet searching and document retrieval, largely superseded by the World Wide Web.

    • ‘The Gopher system enabled documents to be listed in a readable, hierarchical method that was relatively easy to navigate.’
    • ‘In addition, the older gopher content and other non-Web files are unavailable.’
    • ‘I spent quite a while exploring gopher servers in my first couple of years online, before it became clear that the World Wide Web was so much better at presenting the same sort of information in a format non-techies could grasp.’
    • ‘A Gopher site was initially put into place in 1993, and then replaced in 1994 by a Web site.’
    • ‘Think of what the world would look like today if we had standardized the Gopher protocol in the early 1990s.’

Origin

Late 18th century: perhaps from Canadian French gaufre honeycomb (because the gopher ‘honeycombs’ the ground with its burrows).

Pronunciation:

gopher

/ˈɡəʊfə/

Main definitions of gopher in English

: gopher1gopher2

gopher2

noun

  • variant spelling of gofer

Pronunciation:

gopher

/ˈɡəʊfə/