[ mas-uh-saw-guh ]
/ ˌmæs əˈsɔ gə /
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a small rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Mexican border.
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Origin of massasauga

First recorded in 1830–40; irregular after Missisauga River, Ontario, Canada
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use massasauga in a sentence

  • The massasauga is the rattlesnake occasionally found in the swamps from western New York to Nebraska, but it is rare.

    On the Trail|Lina Beard and Adelia Belle Beard
  • One found at another locality had apparently hibernated in company with a massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus).

  • The Massasauga is one of the smaller rattlesnakes, averaging about two feet in length.

    Pathfinder|Alan Douglas
  • The other occurs from Ohio to Nebraska, where it is called massasauga.

    Health on the Farm|H. F. Harris

British Dictionary definitions for massasauga

/ (ˌmæsəˈsɔːɡə) /

a North American venomous snake, Sistrurus catenatus, that has a horny rattle at the end of the tail: family Crotalidae (pit vipers)

Word Origin for massasauga

C19: named after the Missisauga River, Ontario, Canada, where it was first found
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