Definition of massasauga in US English:



  • A small North American rattlesnake of variable color which favors damp habitats.

    Sistrurus catenatus, family Viperidae

    • ‘Behind glass, loll the snakes: timber rattlers, pygmy rattlers, desert massasauga rattlers, and most of the other 32 rattlesnake species known to inhabit the United States.’
    • ‘Even though you may have never seen the eastern massasauga, if it were called "swamp rattler" you would get a very vivid picture of this animal.’
    • ‘Some wildlife enthusiasts are worried about the possible disappearance of the massasauga, the only poisonous snake in the state.’
    • ‘The massasauga can be characterized as a shy, sluggish snake.’
    • ‘They may be preyed upon by larger animals, such as large owls, coyotes, or large snakes, such as eastern massasauga rattlesnakes.’


Mid 19th century: formed irregularly from Mississauga.