Dictionary

1ferret

noun fer·ret \ˈfer-ət\

Definition of FERRET

1
a :  a domesticated usually albino, brownish, or silver-gray animal (Mustela putorius furo) that is descended from the European polecat
b :  black-footed ferret
2
:  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

2ferret

verb

Definition of FERRET

intransitive verb
1
:  to hunt with ferrets
2
:  to search about
transitive verb
1
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>
2
:  harry, worry
fer·ret·er noun

First Known Use of FERRET

15th century

3ferret

noun

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
FERRETER Defined for Kids

1ferret

noun fer·ret \ˈfer-ət\

Definition of FERRET for Kids

:  a domesticated animal with usually white or light brown or gray fur that originates from the European polecat

Word History of FERRET

The ferret is a domesticated breed of the European polecat. For centuries the ferret has been used in Europe for hunting rats and sometimes rabbits. But both the wild polecat and its domestic relative have a rather bad reputation as chicken thieves. Appropriately, then, the ferret is, according to the history of its name, a little thief. Medieval English ferret (or furet) is borrowed from French furet, which ultimately goes back to Latin fur, thief.

2ferret

verb
fer·ret·edfer·ret·ing

Definition of FERRET for Kids

:  to find by eager searching <Could you ferret out the answer?>

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