- any bushy-tailed, stocky rodent of the genus Marmota, as the woodchuck.
- any of certain related animals, as the prairie dogs.
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
The marmot in a few minutes ran out of his hole to a neighbor's doorway.Beasts, Men and Gods
Those are to help him dig, for all the Marmot family are great diggers.
He belongs to the Marmot branch, but he is a Squirrel just the same.
A marmot, perhaps,” said Melchior; “there are many of the little things about here.The Crystal Hunters
George Manville Fenn
The marmot coming out of his hole smelled the bait on the string.The Later Cave-Men
Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
- 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
- prairie marmot another name for prairie dog
C17: from French marmotte, perhaps ultimately from Latin mūr- (stem of mūs) mouse + montis of the mountain
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."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper