squirrel

noun
squir·​rel | \ ˈskwər(-ə)l , ˈskwə-rəl, chiefly British ˈskwir-əl\
plural squirrels also squirrel

Definition of squirrel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

squirrel

verb
squirreled or squirrelled; squirreling or squirrelling

Definition of squirrel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Examples of squirrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

What or who is killing squirrels in Mount Washington Cemetery? Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Squirrels are dying in Mt. Washington Cemetery. Cause remains a mystery.," 3 Apr. 2018 The campgrounds often have squirrels by day, raccoons by night. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Outdoor family vacations can bind or break," 24 June 2018 This strategy works for birds, squirrels, deer, marmots, chipmunks, elk, moose, and bears, but sadly, not wolves. Madeleine Trebenski, Outside Online, "Rules of the Trail for Terrible People," 1 July 2018 The occasional squirrel or opossum that falls on wires, triggering outages. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "History of power outages riles metro Detroiters, DTE promises fixes," 28 June 2018 Since then, animal cases (squirrels, raccoons and deer) have been found from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "What is Keystone virus? Brain-swelling sickness carried by mosquitoes can infect humans," 25 June 2018 Practice good garden hygiene to avoid attracting birds, squirrels, rats, etc. Nan Sterman, latimes.com, "For SoCal gardeners, a June gloom tipsheet," 31 May 2018 Like much of the rest of the state, Oregon's emerald city has had its share of issues with rats lately and the University is home to more than a few pudgy, beggar squirrels. Eder Campuzano, OregonLive.com, "Tenacious turkeys are terrorizing Eugene residents," 2 Mar. 2018 Given the choice between eating skewered squirrel, à la Katniss Everdeen, and drinking green vegetable juice, the decision to go with a liquid lunch (and breakfast and dinner) would seem an obvious one. Christine Lennon, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Hunger Games," 11 June 2012

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Yet estate sales like Mr. Ebsworth’s tend to fare better in good markets and bad because the material has presumably been squirreled away for years in the collection of an owner who adds prestige to the works’ histories. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "$92 Million Edward Hopper Highlights Christie’s Auction," 13 Nov. 2018 Seattle plans to create a digital system, for example, where residents can contribute their democracy vouchers electronically rather than squirreling away four pieces of paper for months on end. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Seattle’s radical plan to fight big money in politics," 5 Nov. 2018 For his part, Mr. Cuomo spent most of the last six months squirreling away his cash, operating with a lean political staff dedicated mostly to raising more money. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "Cuomo Amasses $30 Million War Chest," 17 Jan. 2018 Just don’t forget to squirrel some away for next year’s Fourth of July. David Tanis, New York Times, "A Cheeseburger That Brings the Summer Heat," 29 June 2018 And 15% of people admit to squirreling things away in the trunk of their car. Southern Living, "Gasp! A Surprising Number of Closet-Starved Americans Are Using Their Ovens for Storage," 21 June 2018 There’s an entire economy around sneaker Instagram: influencers make a living posting shoes, others buy sneakers to create content before squirreling the kicks away. Cam Wolf, GQ, "The Rules of the Gym, According to the Hot Dudes of ‘Insecure’," 15 June 2018 Most of us, having got a whiff of what was going on, were busy squirreling ours away. Jim Mclauchlin, WIRED, "The Secret History of the Racy Module That Almost Ruined D&D," 12 June 2018 Don't forget to squirrel away cash for emergencies. Darla Mercado, USA TODAY, "1-in-3 workers can’t answer this question about their retirement savings," 28 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squirrel.' 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 squirrel

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1925, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squirrel

Noun

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

Verb

from the squirrel's habit of storing up gathered nuts and seeds for winter use

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Statistics for squirrel

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squirrel

The first known use of squirrel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for squirrel

squirrel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of squirrel

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

squirrel

noun
squir·​rel | \ ˈskwər-əl \

Kids Definition of squirrel

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on squirrel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squirrel

Spanish Central: Translation of squirrel

Nglish: Translation of squirrel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squirrel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about squirrel

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