- a stocky North American burrowing rodent, Marmota monax, that hibernates in the winter.
Origin of woodchuck
1665–75, Americanism; presumably a reshaping by folk etymology of a word in a Southern New England Algonquian language; compare Narragansett (E spelling) ockqutchaun woodchuck
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for woodchuck
Alan would none of it; he was off to his woodchuck or groundhog.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
"Oh, I'm not going to hurt you, old Mr. Woodchuck," said Fido.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
But I made a noise, so the woodchuck did not come out again.
The groundhog or woodchuck is the best-known example of the group.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
To me the daisy, the mountain stream, the woodchuck 82 and my Art!Iole
Robert W. Chambers
- a North American marmot, Marmota monax, having coarse reddish-brown furAlso called: groundhog
C17: by folk etymology from Cree otcheck fisher, marten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for woodchuck
1670s, alteration (influenced by wood (n.)) of Cree (Algonquian) otchek or Ojibwa otchig, "marten," the name subsequently transferred to the groundhog.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper