\ˈstōt \
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

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 Winter White Cloak With its impeccable winter white robe, a stoat, or ermine (both the animal and its winter coat are called ermine) mirrors its snowy surroundings in Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park. National Geographic, "Before and After: See Animals Change Their Coats for Winter," 6 Feb. 2016 Scientists estimate that invasive stoats, rats, and possums kill 25 million native birds in the country every year. Joseph Dussault, The Christian Science Monitor, "Kiwis take front line in global war against invasive species," 12 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of stoat

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stoat

Middle English stote

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stoat

Dictionary Entries near stoat








Statistics for stoat

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stoat

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stoat



English Language Learners Definition of stoat

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

More from Merriam-Webster on stoat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stoat

Comments on stoat

What made you want to look up stoat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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