• synonyms


[spur-muh-fahyl, -fil]
  1. any of various burrowing rodents of the squirrel family, especially of the genus Spermophilus (or Citellus), sometimes sufficiently numerous to do much damage to crops, as the ground squirrels and susliks.
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Origin of spermophile

1815–25; spermo- + -phile, modeled on New Latin spermophilus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spermophile

Historical Examples of spermophile

  • Harris saw a Spermophile, of what species none of us could tell.

    Audubon and his Journals, Vol. 2

    Maria R. Audubon

British Dictionary definitions for spermophile


  1. any of various North American ground squirrels of the genera Citellus, Spermophilopsis, etc, regarded as pests in many regions
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Word Origin for spermophile

C19: from sperm (at) o- + -phile, on the model of New Latin spermophilus a seed-lover
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