- any North American burrowing tortoise of the genus Gopherus, especially G. polyphemus, of the southeastern U.S.: several species are now reduced in number.
Origin of gopher tortoise
First recorded in 1785–95; see origin at gopher1
Also called gopher turtle, gopher.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018