Definition of badger in English:



  • 1A heavily built omnivorous nocturnal mammal of the weasel family, typically having a gray and black coat.

    • ‘They are carnivores like the stoat, weasel, otter and badger.’
    • ‘A badger's coat looks grey, but the individual hairs are black and white.’
    • ‘They do, however, both belong to the same Mustelidae family which also encompasses badgers, skunks and otters, and that's close enough for us.’
    • ‘Foxes, red squirrels, badgers, hares, otters, Scottish wild cats, seals and bottle-nose dolphins can be seen if you have the dedication to find them.’
    • ‘Over the years, game species, such as moose and bighorn sheep, and other creatures, such as badgers and river otters, were killed in appalling numbers.’
    • ‘The old prison is now a museum, and the nearby wildlife park has rare Scottish wildcats as well as silver foxes, badgers, deer and wallabies.’
    • ‘I was born in this house and as a boy, I remember often seeing foxes, badgers and weasels around the place.’
    • ‘Prairie dogs also provide food for the swift fox, the coyote, weasels, snakes, badgers, hawks and golden eagles as well as crucial habitat for many other native plants and animals.’
    • ‘Raccoons, civets, jackals, badgers, skunks, and bears also eat fruit, honey, seeds, roots, and other plant foods.’
    • ‘Both animals are related species and are members of the Mustelid family, which also includes mink, badgers and weasels.’
    • ‘A little higher off the forest floor, they can tick red squirrels, badgers, otters and foxes off their nature checklist, and if they are lucky, spot herds of red deer bounding over the hillside.’
    • ‘Wrens, ferrets, weasels, badgers, birds of prey, horses' heads and stoats are just a few of the creatures that populate the workshop at the back of his home in Delavale Road, Winchcombe.’
    • ‘But magistrates also heard no licence was applied for by Barratts to protect the badgers under the 1992 Badgers Act.’
    • ‘It didn't take long before the spilt food attracted mice, and the mice attracted badgers, and the badgers attracted crazy porcupine things that we call Critters.’
    • ‘The badger, by contrast, is of the weasel family Mustelidae, order Carnivora.’
    • ‘I thought they were skinny badgers or fat weasels.’
    • ‘This is certainly the case with one of my favourite mammals - the badger.’
    • ‘The weasel family includes such colourful characters as otters, wolverines, skunks, minks and badgers.’
    • ‘In their search for food, most of which is comprised of burrowing rodents, badgers tear up large areas of earth with powerful digging claws on their forefeet.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2informal A native of Wisconsin.


  • Ask (someone) repeatedly and annoyingly for something; pester.

    ‘journalists badgered him about the deals’
    ‘Tom had finally badgered her into going’
    [with object and infinitive] ‘his daughter was always badgering him to let her join’
    • ‘Dad's been badgering me to get a webcam for ages - since I arrived in Japan, actually - so we could videoconference with each other.’
    • ‘There is no mind-jarring pop music to shred your thoughts and, more importantly, no irksome rash of timeshare touts badgering you to buy a dream in the sun.’
    • ‘How many nine-year-olds can be bothered to empathise with the serving staff in the local mall, when their time could be much more profitably filled by badgering their parents for junk food?’
    • ‘He hated his mother for physically and mentally badgering him to fulfil her wishes.’
    • ‘When a grade six friend wrote an essay about the computer work his brother was doing down the road at the University of Waterloo, Stumpf badgered the friend's brother into taking him along to the university.’
    • ‘You can almost see the foam dripping from their mouths as they behave like lawyers badgering a witness.’
    • ‘Above all, though, I've constantly badgered my husband, friends and colleagues asking: ‘What's the time?’’
    • ‘My husband had been badgering me for months to tie up some savings in the bonds.’
    • ‘This is merely badgering the witness and editorialising, so you know, Senator, on both grounds your propositions are out of order.’
    • ‘A great idea, except it doesn't really matter, because nobody minds if you betray them or not - next time, they'll still be badgering you for help.’
    • ‘My guess is, that clerk didn't feel stupid about it at all, until the Times reporter started badgering him.’
    • ‘But I have, for a long time, called him Badger, for his propensity of badgering and harassing young women with whom he fancies himself in love.’
    • ‘Not long after Thompson scored, O'Neill started badgering his team from the sideline, a process that never really relented until the end.’
    • ‘The friend that's always badgering you about why you're upset, the brother that wants an account of every boy his sister hangs out with.’
    • ‘On the night of the shooting, Jaw had been badgering her about her past relationships and insisted on seeing copies of recent e-mails.’
    • ‘Every Friday, the Boy tried to start his homework right when he got back, since the Twin always badgered him to, but it never worked.’
    • ‘He says he was only cajoled into being a public figure by his wife and son badgering him to avoid the silent comforts of the library.’
    • ‘Is the News of the World suggesting that the BBC should have released his name sooner so that other journalists could start badgering him earlier over the affair?’
    • ‘To those press people and television reporters badgering me, it was easy for them to talk about George in the past tense even as he lay on a hospital bed.’
    • ‘He's been badgering us for about five minutes now with his wretched droning, and if I'm exposed to much more of it I'm going to bite someone.’
    pester, harass, bother, plague, torment, hound, nag, chivvy, harry, keep on at, go on at, harp on at, keep after, importune, annoy, trouble
    hassle, bug
    View synonyms


Early 16th century: perhaps from badge, with reference to its distinctive head markings. The verb sense (late 18th century) originates from the formerly popular sport of badger baiting.