\ ˈstōt How to pronounce stoat (audio) \
plural stoats also stoat

Definition of stoat

: the common ermine (Mustela erminea) chiefly of northern Eurasia and North America that is brown above and white below in summer and in its northern range all white in winter and that ranges from 9 to 15 inches (23 to 38 centimeters) in length including a black-tipped tail that is usually 1 ½ to 3 ½ inches (3.8 to 9 centimeters) long : ermine sense 1a, short-tailed weasel

Examples of stoat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The increase in seeds also means more rats, stoats and feral cats -- all of which pose risks to the bird. Leah Asmelash And Brian Ries, CNN, "This bird was nearly extinct. Now, its population could double thanks to an 'epic' breeding season," 19 July 2019 Some New Zealanders, however, have doubts about the Predator Free 2050 campaign, which also plans to eradicate stoats and Australian possums. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 New Zealand has launched an ambitious plan to rid the country of predators such as rats, stoats and possums that have decimated native flora and fauna. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Communities Raise Their Voices on Genetic Engineering," 27 July 2018 The goal is to rid the nation, which has no native land mammals besides bats, of feral cats, rats, possums, stoats and other predators by the year 2050. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Feral Cats Eat More Than a Million Reptiles Per Day," 26 June 2018 Higher up near the alpine regions, black pine yields to sheer granite and slate peaks, and chamois, ptarmigan, stoat and marmots peer curiously at visitors, while griffon vultures and golden eagles soar overhead. Smithsonian, "Explore Catalonia’s Most Beautiful Nature Parks," 15 June 2018 Invasive stoats and cats snacked on the parrots; humans hunted them for their meat and feathers, or tried to keep them as pets. Claire Voon, Smithsonian, "Seduced By a Rare Parrot," 13 Apr. 2017 And in the 19th century, European settlers and their coterie of stoats, weasels, cats, and dogs dealt the coup de grace. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The First Species to Have Every Individual’s Genome Sequenced," 13 Sep. 2017 Invasive stoats and cats snacked on the parrots Claire Voon, Smithsonian, "Seduced By a Rare Parrot," 13 Apr. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stoat

Middle English stote

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

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The first known use of stoat was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of stoat

chiefly British : a small animal that has a long body and brown fur that turns white in winter especially : this animal when its fur is brown

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to shake or wave menacingly

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