var·​mint | \ ˈvär-mənt How to pronounce varmint (audio) \

Definition of varmint

1 : an animal considered a pest specifically : one classed as vermin and unprotected by game law
2 : a contemptible person : rascal broadly : person, fellow

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Synonyms for varmint


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Examples of varmint in a Sentence

rats, mice, and other varmints The sheriff in the movie gets revenge on the dirty varmint who killed his brother.
Recent Examples on the Web The R-15 Predator was built with the varmint hunter in mind. John Haughey, Outdoor Life, "The Most Versatile Semi-Automatic Rifles," 10 Apr. 2019 Whelen helped to popularize the round in his writings for Outdoor Life at a time when America was experiencing a surge in popularity in varmint shooting. Mike Dickerson, Field & Stream, "10 Wildcat Calibers That Made the Grade," 22 Jan. 2020 Camp guns should also be accurate enough to take care of varmints, do some plinking, put some meat in the pot, or be pressed into service for a day of hunting. Craig Caudill, Outdoor Life, "11 Used Firearms that Make Dependable Camp Guns," 13 Nov. 2019 Dear Readers: Got a varmint problem? Poisoning rats and mice is bad for many reasons. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Turtle time!," 31 Aug. 2019 But other than the varmints, the conditions usually do the job. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Aye, aye Buckeye. Here's the secret to growing a tree from seed in your Kentucky backyard," 1 Nov. 2019 The auction site prohibits sellers on its marketplace from offering complete firearms of any kind, from varmint guns to Glocks. Los Angeles Times, "EBay bans assault rifle parts. Here’s how sellers get around it," 7 Aug. 2019 Here, experts explain how these little disease-carrying varmints are adapting to warming climates. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Summertime means disease-carrying insects. Here's what you should know.," 29 July 2019 Then there are the graphical touches: the tightening skin of a horse as its muscles swell to prep for full gallop; the crisp blades of prairie grasses between which flit all manner of varmints. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Red Dead Redemption II review: Getting muddy in the wide-open frontier," 25 Oct. 2018

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

circa 1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for varmint

variant of vermin (with regular late Middle English opening of tautosyllabic er to ar and parasitic t)

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Time Traveler for varmint

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The first known use of varmint was circa 1539

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Cite this Entry

“Varmint.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce varmint (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of varmint

chiefly US, old-fashioned + humorous
: an animal that is considered a problem
: a bad person

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