1. [syn: prairie dog, prairie marmot]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Prairie \Prai"rie\, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie,
LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.]
1. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of
trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually
characterized by a deep, fertile soil. They abound
throughout the Mississippi valley, between the Alleghanies
and the Rocky mountains.
From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow.
2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called
Prairie chicken (Zool.), any American grouse of the genus
Tympanuchus, especially Tympanuchus Americanus
(formerly Tympanuchus cupido), which inhabits the
prairies of the central United States. Applied also to the
Prairie clover (Bot.), any plant of the leguminous genus
Petalostemon, having small rosy or white flowers in
dense terminal heads or spikes. Several species occur in
the prairies of the United States.
Prairie dock (Bot.), a coarse composite plant (Silphium
terebinthaceum) with large rough leaves and yellow
flowers, found in the Western prairies.
Prairie dog (Zool.), a small American rodent (Cynomys
Ludovicianus) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the
plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in
the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like
that of a dog. Called also prairie marmot.
Prairie grouse. Same as Prairie chicken, above.
Prairie hare (Zool.), a large long-eared Western hare
(Lepus campestris). See Jack rabbit, under 2d Jack.
Prairie hawk, Prairie falcon (Zool.), a falcon of Western
North America (Falco Mexicanus). The upper parts are
brown. The tail has transverse bands of white; the under
parts, longitudinal streaks and spots of brown.
Prairie hen. (Zool.) Same as Prairie chicken, above.
Prairie itch (Med.), an affection of the skin attended with
intense itching, which is observed in the Northern and
Western United States; -- also called swamp itch,
Prairie marmot. (Zool.) Same as Prairie dog, above.
Prairie mole (Zool.), a large American mole (Scalops
argentatus), native of the Western prairies.
Prairie pigeon, Prairie plover, or Prairie snipe
(Zool.), the upland plover. See Plover, n., 2.
Prairie rattlesnake (Zool.), the massasauga.
Prairie snake (Zool.), a large harmless American snake
(Masticophis flavigularis). It is pale yellow, tinged
with brown above.
Prairie squirrel (Zool.), any American ground squirrel of
the genus Spermophilus, inhabiting prairies; -- called
Prairie turnip (Bot.), the edible turnip-shaped farinaceous
root of a leguminous plant (Psoralea esculenta) of the
Upper Missouri region; also, the plant itself. Called also
pomme blanche, and pomme de prairie.
Prairie warbler (Zool.), a bright-colored American warbler
(Dendroica discolor). The back is olive yellow, with a
group of reddish spots in the middle; the under parts and
the parts around the eyes are bright yellow; the sides of
the throat and spots along the sides, black; three outer
tail feathers partly white.
Prairie wolf. (Zool.) See Coyote.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any of several rodents of North American prairies living in
large complex burrows having a barking cry [syn: prairie
dog, prairie marmot]