Definition of woodchuck in US English:



  • A North American marmot with a heavy body and short legs.

    Marmota monax, family Sciuridae

    • ‘It is Jed Bidwell's father who, for practical reasons - the protection of crops and livestock - encourages Jed to kill woodchucks and wipe out the snake population on their property.’
    • ‘It is noteworthy that the studies in ducks, woodchucks and tree shrews did include some animals also infected with hepatitis virus in addition to aflatoxin treatment.’
    • ‘A one-way door can be used to evict woodchucks from burrows, however, should never be used when young are present (usually May through August) or when other animals are using the burrow system.’
    • ‘Clean around the bins too, removing high grass, weeds, spilled grain, and debris that attracts insects, rodents, woodchucks and other undesirable wildlife.’
    • ‘The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is a tunnel master who finds any number of garden plants appealing both above and below the ground.’
    • ‘He searched the nearby foliage for twenty minutes before finding what he was looking for: a woodchuck's hole in the ground.’
    • ‘The Rodentia also includes beavers, muskrats, porcupines, woodchucks, chipmunks, squirrels, prairie dogs, marmots, chinchillas, voles, lemmings, and many others.’
    • ‘In addition, one million hunters spent 19 million days hunting other animals such as raccoons and woodchucks.’
    • ‘Try planting flowers that don't appeal to woodchucks.’
    • ‘And typically when hunting small-game like woodchucks, prairie dogs or coyotes, you are in a fixed position with an adequate rest so that shot placement is very controlled.’
    • ‘And to prove my commitment to the environment, let me just say this: No woodchucks were actually disturbed in the process of writing this column.’
    • ‘To prefer the society of squirrels and woodchucks to that of our own species must surely be unnatural.’
    • ‘In shorter, sparser vegetation or near the bare dirt around woodchuck or gopher mounds, such signs will be rare.’
    • ‘In two successive school plays, I had a recurring role as a woodchuck (also known as the ground hog, and sadly also as the ‘whistle-pig’).’
    • ‘It also forced me to loop through a farmer's field and invade a woodchuck's privacy to continue my walk.’
    • ‘Unlike other marmots, woodchucks don't live in big colonies underground.’
    • ‘These animals, sometimes called ‘whistlers’, are slightly larger than their relative the woodchuck and can weigh up to 13.5 kg.’
    • ‘Squirrels range in size from the mouse-sized African pygmy squirrel to the robust marmots and woodchucks (genus Marmota).’
    • ‘Along these lines, Thoreau sees that he can rejoice that his beans are food for the woodchucks as much as for people, and that the growth of the weeds is as important as that of the beans.’
    • ‘But there's a good side to woodchucks, too: Their burrows provide homes for all manner of other wildlife, including rabbits, turtles and toads.’


Late 17th century: alteration (by association with wood) of a North American Indian name; compare with Cree wuchak, otchock.