ermine

noun
er·​mine | \ ˈər-mən How to pronounce ermine (audio) \
plural ermines

Definition of ermine

1 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 weasel (Mustela erminea) chiefly of northern Eurasia and North America that has a short tail, is found in varied habitats (such as forest, grassland, and tundra), and preys especially on small mammals (such as voles and mice) : short-tailed weasel, stoat
b : the white fur of the ermine
2 : a rank or office whose ceremonial or official robe is ornamented with ermine

Illustration of ermine

Illustration of ermine

ermine 1a: winter coat

Examples of ermine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Glance at the coffee table and see the petrified turtle with the liquid-gold articulated snake and a tiny figure astride an ermine. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 9 Apr. 2021 On May 31, dressed in clothes of gold and white ermine, Anne made her grand entrance into the capital and passed through the city in a procession that covered half a mile. History Magazine, 29 Dec. 2020 While Dall sheep move down the mountain in winter, whitetails are left to fend for themselves against the ermine and wolverines that rely on them for protein. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Jan. 2020 Republican’ long for an ermine stole, a scepter and an orb. Clark Collis, EW.com, 10 June 2019 At the Plaza, Mrs. Walsh held court in her suite, swathed in ermine wraps, her nails painted to match the color of her dress. Julie Satow, New York Times, 7 June 2019 From Snow Peak’s pristine white anorak (like ermine in fleece form) to Battenwear’s Mr. Rogers-goes-to-Aspen nubby cardigan to Supreme’s lively leopard upgrade, brands are pushing fleece into fashion territory. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 20 Sep. 2018 In show notes, the brand was also careful to emphasize the fabrics used, organza and chiffon among them, directly mentioning fur only once (the adorable ermine). Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 July 2018 Instead, whenever a hereditary peer hangs up his ermine, a pantomime of democracy follows. The Economist, 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ermine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ermine

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ermine

Middle English, from Anglo-French hermin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German harmo weasel

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ermine

Time Traveler for ermine

Time Traveler

The first known use of ermine was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ermine

ermiline

ermine

ermined

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ermine

Cite this Entry

“Ermine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ermine. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ermine

ermine

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ermine

US : a small animal that has a long body and fur that turns white in winter
: the white fur of an ermine

ermine

noun
er·​mine | \ ˈər-mən How to pronounce ermine (audio) \

Kids Definition of ermine

: a weasel of northern regions having a winter coat of white fur with a tail tipped in black

More from Merriam-Webster on ermine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ermine

Nglish: Translation of ermine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ermine

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!