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

b : ground squirrel

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

Near the water, there’s a scraggly, scarred squirrel walking in circles. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fallout 76 journal, day 1: welcome to the wasteland," 14 Nov. 2018 According to a recently-uncovered medical case from 2015, one man may have died after eating one too many squirrels. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Man Contracted a Rare, Fatal Disease From Eating Squirrel Brains," 17 Oct. 2018 Man calls police on 'very persistent' baby squirrel following him. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Clues in stolen plane mystery; Omarosa's secret White House recording sparks security concerns," 13 Aug. 2018 Vendors on the platform offered crystal ornaments, tea services and plaques mounted with taxidermied squirrels. New York Times, "For a 90-Minute Game, a Train Ride of 27 Hours," 26 June 2018 Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a red fox squirrel nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Holiday week brings plenty of hits, some misses," 4 July 2018 The characters’ names are the actual Latin nomenclature for the squirrel genus and species. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "La Jolla Playhouse's apocalyptic 'Squirrels' a dark, funny look at prejudice," 14 June 2018 Off Riverview Place is an enchanting pedestrian path, Squirrel Alley, marked by a bronze squirrel statue made by Raffaello E. Menconi. Julie Besonen, New York Times, "Twenty Miles from Midtown, a Riverside Village Awaits," 7 June 2018 The specimens were recovered from ancient squirrel burrows, 125 feet deep in the permafrost of northeast Russia, according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "Something Stirs: What Will Happen as Permafrost Thaws?," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Residents squirrel away money, not sure whether to trust the boom. Bob Davis, WSJ, "The Future of America’s Economy Looks a Lot Like Elkhart, Indiana," 6 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

18 Nov 2018

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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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