noun squir·rel \ˈskwər(-ə)l, ˈskwə-rəl, chiefly British ˈskwir-əl\

: a small animal with a long tail and soft fur that lives in trees

plural squirrels also squirrel

Full Definition of SQUIRREL

:  any of various small or medium-sized rodents (family Sciuridae, the squirrel family): as
a :  any of numerous New or Old World arboreal forms having a long bushy tail and strong hind legs
b :  ground squirrel
:  the fur of a squirrel

Origin of SQUIRREL

Middle English squirel, from Anglo-French escurel, esquirel, from Vulgar Latin *scuriolus, diminutive of scurius, alteration of Latin *sciurus, from Greek skiouros, probably from skia shadow + oura tail — more at shine, ass
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mammals Terms

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

Rhymes with SQUIRREL


transitive verb
squirreled or squirrelledsquirrel·ing or squirrel·ling

Definition of SQUIRREL

:  to store up for future use —often used with away <squirrel away some money>

Origin of SQUIRREL

from the squirrel's habit of storing up gathered nuts and seeds for winter use
First Known Use: 1925

Rhymes with SQUIRREL

SQUIRRELS Defined for Kids


noun squir·rel \ˈskwər-əl\

Definition of SQUIRREL for Kids

:  a small gnawing animal that is a rodent usually with a bushy tail and soft fur and strong hind legs used especially for leaping among tree branches

Word History of SQUIRREL

When a squirrel sits up, its long tail curves up and over its head and sometimes casts a shadow. The English word squirrel comes ultimately from the Greek word for a squirrel, skiouros, which is thought to mean shadow-tailed (skia, shadow, plus oura, tail).
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