• synonyms


[woo d-chuhk]
  1. a stocky North American burrowing rodent, Marmota monax, that hibernates in the winter.
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Origin of woodchuck

1665–75, Americanism; presumably a reshaping by folk etymology of a word in a Southern New England Algonquian language; compare Narragansett (E spelling) ockqutchaun woodchuck
Also called chuck, groundhog.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for woodchuck

Historical Examples of woodchuck

  • Alan would none of it; he was off to his woodchuck or groundhog.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "Oh, I'm not going to hurt you, old Mr. Woodchuck," said Fido.

  • But I made a noise, so the woodchuck did not come out again.

  • The groundhog or woodchuck is the best-known example of the group.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • To me the daisy, the mountain stream, the woodchuck 82 and my Art!


    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for woodchuck


  1. a North American marmot, Marmota monax, having coarse reddish-brown furAlso called: groundhog
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Word Origin for woodchuck

C17: by folk etymology from Cree otcheck fisher, marten
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 woodchuck


1670s, alteration (influenced by wood (n.)) of Cree (Algonquian) otchek or Ojibwa otchig, "marten," the name subsequently transferred to the groundhog.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper