noun \ˈfer-ət\

Definition of FERRET

a :  a domesticated usually albino, brownish, or silver-gray animal (Mustela putorius furo) that is descended from the European polecat
b :  black-footed ferret
:  an active and persistent searcher
fer·rety \-ə-tē\ adjective

Origin of FERRET

Middle English furet, ferret, from Anglo-French firet, furet, from Vulgar Latin *furittus, literally, little thief, diminutive of Latin fur thief — more at furtive
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole

Rhymes with FERRET



Definition of FERRET

intransitive verb
:  to hunt with ferrets
:  to search about
transitive verb
a (1) :  to hunt (as rabbits) with ferrets (2) :  to force out of hiding :  flush
b :  to find and bring to light by searching —usually used with out <ferret out the answers>
:  harry, worry
fer·ret·er noun

First Known Use of FERRET

15th century



Definition of FERRET

:  a narrow cotton, silk, or wool tape —called also ferreting

Origin of FERRET

probably modification of Italian fioretti floss silk, from plural of fioretto, diminutive of fiore flower, from Latin flor-, flos — more at blow
First Known Use: 1649


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of two species in the carnivore family Mustelidae. The common ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is a domesticated form of the European polecat. It has a long, lithe body and is brown, black, or white (albino). Its average length is 20 in. (51 cm), including the 5-in. (13-cm) tail, and it weighs about 2 lbs (1 kg). It was originally domesticated for hunting mice, rats, and rabbits; today ferrets are commonly kept as pets. The black-footed ferret (M. nigripes), of the North American plains, has a black mask across the eyes and brownish black markings on the feet and tail tip. It is an endangered species, owing to the loss of its main source of food, the prairie dog.


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