• synonyms


[mahr-muh t]
  1. any bushy-tailed, stocky rodent of the genus Marmota, as the woodchuck.
  2. any of certain related animals, as the prairie dogs.
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Origin of marmot

1600–10; < French marmotte, Old French, apparently noun derivative of marmotter to mutter, murmur (referring to the whistling noises made by such animals), equivalent to marm- imitative base denoting a variety of indistinct, continuous sounds (cf. murmur) + -ot(t)er suffix of expressive verbs (though v. is attested only in modern F)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for marmot

Historical Examples

  • The marmot in a few minutes ran out of his hole to a neighbor's doorway.

    Beasts, Men and Gods

    Ferdinand Ossendowski

  • He belongs to the Marmot branch, but he is a Squirrel just the same.

  • Those are to help him dig, for all the Marmot family are great diggers.

  • A marmot, perhaps,” said Melchior; “there are many of the little things about here.

    The Crystal Hunters

    George Manville Fenn

  • Then they took the marmot out of the trap and carried it to the cave.

    The Later Cave-Men

    Katharine Elizabeth Dopp

British Dictionary definitions for marmot


  1. any burrowing sciurine rodent of the genus Marmota, of Europe, Asia, and North America. They are heavily built, having short legs, a short furry tail, and coarse fur
  2. prairie marmot another name for prairie dog
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Word Origin

C17: from French marmotte, perhaps ultimately from Latin mūr- (stem of mūs) mouse + montis of the mountain
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 marmot


Alpine rodent, c.1600, from French marmotte, from Romansch (Swiss) murmont (assimilated to Old French marmote "monkey"), from Latin murem montis "mountain mouse."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper