noun \ˈər-mən\

: a small animal that has a long body and fur that turns white in winter

: the white fur of an ermine

plural ermines

Full Definition of ERMINE

or plural ermine
a :  any of several weasels whose coats become white in winter usually with black on the tip of the tail; especially :  a short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea) of the forests and tundra of Eurasia and North America
b :  the white fur of the ermine
:  a rank or office whose ceremonial or official robe is ornamented with ermine

Illustration of ERMINE

Origin of ERMINE

Middle English, from Anglo-French hermin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German harmo weasel
First Known Use: 12th century

Rhymes with ERMINE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Ermine (Mustela erminea)—Charlie Ott—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

Species of the weasel family (Mustela erminea). Its white winter coat has historically adorned royal robes and is still used in the fur trade. Ermines are found in North America and northern Eurasia. They are most abundant in thickets, woodland, and semitimbered areas. In summer they are brown, with whitish throat, chest, and belly. Species are 5–12 in. (13–29 cm) long (excluding the 2–5-in., or 5–12-cm, tail) and weigh less than 11 oz (0.3 kg). Voracious carnivores, ermines feed on small mammals, birds, eggs, frogs, and, occasionally, invertebrates.

Variants of ERMINE

ermine or stoat


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