weasel


1wea·sel

noun \ˈwē-zəl\

: a small animal that has a thin body and brown fur and that eats small birds and other animals

: a dishonest person who cannot be trusted

plural weasels

Full Definition of WEASEL

1
or plural weasel :  any of various small slender active carnivorous mammals (genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae, the weasel family) that are able to prey on animals (as rabbits) larger than themselves, are mostly brown with white or yellowish underparts, and in northern forms turn white in winter — compare ermine 1a
2
:  a light self-propelled tracked vehicle built either for traveling over snow, ice, or sand or as an amphibious vehicle
3
:  a sneaky, untrustworthy, or insincere person

Illustration of WEASEL

Origin of WEASEL

Middle English wesele, from Old English weosule; akin to Old High German wisula weasel
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Mammals Terms

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

Rhymes with WEASEL

2weasel

verb
wea·seledwea·sel·ing \ˈwēz-liŋ, ˈwē-zə-\

Definition of WEASEL

intransitive verb
1
:  to use weasel words :  equivocate
2
:  to escape from or evade a situation or obligation —often used with out
transitive verb
:  to manipulate shiftily

Examples of WEASEL

  1. <the polite guest chose to weasel rather than admit that he didn't like the meal>

Origin of WEASEL

weasel word
First Known Use: 1900

weasel

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata).—John H. Gerard

Any of several genera (carnivore family Mustelidae) of voracious nocturnal predators found throughout the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia. Weasels have slender bodies and necks, small flat heads, short legs, clawed toes, dense short fur, and slim pointed tails. The size and relative length of the tail vary among species. Their total length is 7–20 in. (17–50 cm), and they may weigh 1–12 oz (30–350 g). The approximately 10 New World and Eurasian species of Mustela are reddish brown; in cold regions, their winter coat turns white, and the pelt, especially of the stoat (M. erminea), is called ermine. Weasels generally hunt alone, feeding on rodents, fish, frogs, and birds' eggs.

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