[ woo d-chuhk ]
/ ˈwʊdˌtʃʌk /


a stocky North American burrowing rodent, Marmota monax, that hibernates in the winter.

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for woodchuck


/ (ˈwʊdˌtʃʌk) /


a North American marmot, Marmota monax, having coarse reddish-brown furAlso called: groundhog

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper