\ ˈmau̇s How to pronounce mouse (audio) \
plural mice\ ˈmīs How to pronounce mouse (audio) \

Definition of mouse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous small rodents (as of the genus Mus) with pointed snout, rather small ears, elongated body, and slender tail
2 plural also mouses : a small mobile manual device that controls movement of the cursor and selection of functions on a computer display
3 : a timid person
4 : a dark-colored swelling caused by a blow specifically : black eye


\ ˈmau̇z How to pronounce mouse (audio) \
moused; mousing

Definition of mouse (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to hunt for mice
2 : to search or move stealthily or slowly

transitive verb

1 : to search for carefully usually used with out
2 obsolete
a : bite, gnaw
b : to toy with roughly
mouse over
: to use a mouse to position a cursor over (a specific location or element on a computer screen) without clicking the mouse's button Rich media is pretty much anything that moves when you interact with it. It can be a Flash animation, or a streaming video clip, or an image rotator that changes when you mouse over it.— Ariel Bleicher

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Examples of mouse in a Sentence

Noun The house was infested with mice and rats. He moved the mouse to click on the icon. Verb a cat mousing along in the shadows of the garden
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Previous studies using mouse and pig embryos showed a formation between humans and a species evolutionary distant to humans did not contribute to a successful embryo formation. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, "Report: Part-monkey, part-human embryos successful in China," 15 Apr. 2021 For the smaller stuff—battery packs, charging cords, a mouse and the miscellaneous adapters to connect drives, memory cards and cables to your laptop—you’ll need a dongle bag. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "From Remote Work to Hybrid Work: The Tech You’ll Need to Link Home and Office," 14 Mar. 2021 Some researchers have argued that growing deer tick populations aren’t associated with the weather, saying instead that ballooning mouse and deer populations are responsible for the apparent increase in ticks. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "Does a cold winter mean fewer bugs in the summer?," 25 Feb. 2021 One caught a mouse and the siblings sparred over who would eat it. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Couple had a front row seat watching barred owlets grow up," 12 Jan. 2021 It’s this area which excites Ambinder and his colleagues most — the potential for video game experiences to respond to players’ feelings in real-time rather than relying on traditional inputs such as the keyboard, mouse or gamepad. Washington Post, "Brain-controlled gaming exists, though ethical questions loom over the tech," 16 Dec. 2020 The wireless mouse and keyboard and back-facing ports were a huge help. Allen Foster,, "HP Pavilion All-in-One review: Is this desktop computer as versatile and user-friendly as it claims?," 21 Nov. 2020 With brilliant editing and direction, the series becomes a real nail-biting suspense, a tense cat-and-mouse chase between Sobhraj and Knippenberg. Sheena Scott, Forbes, "‘The Serpent’: The True-Crime Series On Netflix That Is Captivating Millions," 10 Apr. 2021 His search leads to a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official whose past may hold the clues to the identities of the elusive killers. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Zoom in on the map to find individual restaurants and mouse over locations to access the latest state inspection reports. Orlando Sentinel Staff,, "Orlando, Central Florida restaurant inspection database," 26 Mar. 2021 In what will be the office of incoming press secretary Jen Psaki, a computer keyboard and mouse on her desk were encased in plastic. The Associated Press,, "Donald Trump leaves White House for last time: 'We accomplished a lot'," 20 Jan. 2021 Nonadjustable armrest height and width means this chair won't support keyboard and mouse hands properly for many, if not most, people. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Arse Technica rolls again: We review the All33 Backstrong C1 chair," 1 Dec. 2020 To figure out how cells do this, researchers tested two known for going the distance—a soil-dwelling amoeba (Dictyostelium discoideum) and mouse pancreatic cancer cells. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, "Watch amoebas solve a microscopic version of London’s Hampton Court Maze," 27 Aug. 2020 On some dashboards, the line graphs have each data point or segment labeled, but the graph is so small that the labels bleed together, forcing the user to mouse over each pinpoint dot on the graph to find precise info. Brian Feldman,, "The Software That’s Powering All the Coronavirus Dashboards," 14 May 2020 Most mammals at the time were closer to mouse-sized, while dinosaurs dominated the landscape. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "66-Million-Year-Old ‘Crazy Beast’ Finds a Taxonomical Home," 1 May 2020 Some companies like Just are working on growing familiar meats like turkey, pork, chicken and beef, while others are working on exotic options like foie gras, bluefin tuna and even mouse meat for pet food. Jenny Splitter / Photography Kelsey Mcclellan, Popular Mechanics, "Please Don't Call This Cultured Nugget "Lab Meat"," 20 Dec. 2019 In 2017, Microsoft began building eye tracking into the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update as an assistive technology for those who were physically unable to mouse. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "These four 'Eyes First' Windows games could do for eye tracking what Solitaire did for the PC's mouse," 19 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of mouse


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for mouse


Middle English, from Old English mūs; akin to Old High German mūs mouse, Latin mus, Greek mys mouse, muscle

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Time Traveler for mouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of mouse was before the 12th century

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Statistics for mouse

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for mouse



English Language Learners Definition of mouse

: a very small animal that has a pointed nose and a long, thin tail
: a small device that is connected to a computer and that you move with your hand to control the movement of a pointer on the computer screen


\ ˈmau̇s How to pronounce mouse (audio) \
plural mice\ ˈmīs \

Kids Definition of mouse

1 : a very small furry gnawing animal that is a rodent with a pointed snout and long slender tail
2 : a person without spirit or courage
3 plural also mouses : a small movable device that is connected to a computer and used to move the cursor and select functions on the screen

Other Words from mouse

mouselike \ ˈmau̇s-​ˌlīk \ adjective


\ ˈmau̇s How to pronounce mouse (audio) \
plural mice\ ˈmīs How to pronounce mouse (audio) \

Medical Definition of mouse

1 : any of numerous small rodents with pointed snout, rather small ears, elongated body, and slender hairless or sparsely haired tail, including all the smaller members of the genus Mus (as the medically significant house mouse, M. musculus) and many members of other rodent genera and families having little more in common than their relatively small size
2 : a dark-colored swelling caused by a blow specifically : black eye

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