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A large burrowing rodent (Marmota monax) of northern and eastern North America, having a short-legged, heavyset body and grizzled brownish fur. Also called groundhog; also called regionally whistle pig.

[By folk etymology, probably of New England Algonquian origin.]
Word History: The woodchuck goes by several names in the United States. One is groundhog, the name under which legends about the animal's emergence from the ground on Groundhog Day have accrued. The word groundhog probably makes reference to the animal's excellent burrowing abilities. In the Appalachian Mountains, the woodchuck is known as a whistle pig, in reference to the shrill whistle it makes when disturbed. The word woodchuck is probably a folk etymology of a word in an Algonquian language of New England akin to the Narragansett word for the animal, ockqutchaun. English-speaking settlers in North America probably heard the Algonquian term and reinterpreted the first part of it as wood, which seemed to make sense in the name of an animal that often lives on the edges of woodland and in open wooded areas.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Animals) a North American marmot, Marmota monax, having coarse reddish-brown fur. Also called: groundhog
[C17: by folk etymology from Cree otcheck fisher, marten]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



a stocky North American burrowing rodent, Marmota monax, that hibernates in the winter. Also called groundhog.
[1665–75, Amer.; presumably a reshaping by folk etym. of a word in a Southern New England Algonquian language]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.woodchuck - reddish brown North American marmotwoodchuck - reddish brown North American marmot
marmot - stocky coarse-furred burrowing rodent with a short bushy tail found throughout the northern hemisphere; hibernates in winter
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈwʊdtʃʌk] Nmarmota f de América GROUNDHOG DAY
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈwʊdˌtʃʌk] nmarmotta americana
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
"There aren't any mice or woodchucks in that hole, so don't be foolish."
Should he wish to land, it is merely because he has seen a large flight of landrails or plovers, of wild ducks, teal, widgeon, or woodchucks, which fall an easy pray to net or gun.
The farmers and their works are scarcely more obvious than woodchucks and their burrows.
As if one were to wear any sort of coat which the tailor might cut out for him, or, gradually leaving off palm-leaf hat or cap of woodchuck skin, complain of hard times because he could not afford to buy him a crown!
Fox and woodchuck, hawk and snipe and bittern, when nearly seen, have no more root in the deep world than man, and are just such superficial tenants of the globe.
While a Weatherby Mark V VarmintMaster is my go-to choice for hiking after woodchucks, it now has a challenger: CZ's Model 527.
He was a leader and mentor in the Woodchucks Wood Shop at the Del Webb community in Huntley IL.
In "A Field Guide to Tracking Mammals in the Northeast" she draws upon her years of experience and impressive expertise to create an instruction manual that provides all the details necessary for following animals large and small, ranging from chipmunks and woodchucks, to bobcats and black bears.
With it, you could hunt squirrels and possums, pop woodchucks that were savaging mama's vegetables, dispatch a hawk threatening the chickens, or knock a crow out of a tree.
It covers disease prevention, legal and ethical issues, reduction, refinement, and replacement, and the morals, ethics, and benefits of animal research; facilities; the anatomic features, behavior, husbandry, restraint and handling, clinical procedures, common diseases, disorders, and euthanasia of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, rats and mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils and hamsters, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, chinchillas, woodchucks, armadillos, farm animals, opossums, bats, invertebrates, dogs and cats, and nonhuman primates; and aspects of wildlife, such as physical examination, restraint, care, and infectious diseases.
"The Hepatitis B and Delta Viruses" includes perspectives on the origins and evolution of these viruses, historical milestones in HBV and HDV research, and insights from animal models (e.g., woodchucks).
The woodchucks were fat and saucy, and you would understand why if you had seen the devastation they wrought on our alfalfa fields and gardens.