Definition of vermin
1a : small common harmful or objectionable animals (such as lice or fleas) that are difficult to controlb : birds and mammals that prey on gamec : animals that at a particular time and place compete (as for food) with humans or domestic animals
2 : an offensive person
Examples of vermin in a Sentence
The room was crawling with roaches and other vermin.
the vermin who looted abandoned houses after the hurricane
Recent Examples of vermin from the Web
To survive in hostile environments, cockroaches rely on their own vermin: Blattabacterium, a microbe that hitched a ride inside roaches 140 million years ago, and hasn’t left since.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vermin'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of vermin
Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, from verm “worm” (going back to Latin vermis) + -in, -ine, suffix with diminutive or pejorative value, borrowed from Italian -ino, diminutive suffix, going back to Latin -īnus, suffix of appurtenance — more at 1worm, 1-ine
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
VERMIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vermin for English Language Learners
: small insects and animals (such as fleas or mice) that are sometimes harmful to plants or other animals and that are difficult to get rid of
: very bad, unpleasant, or offensive people
VERMIN Defined for Kids
Definition of vermin for Students
: small common harmful or objectionable animals (as fleas or mice) that are difficult to get rid of
Medical Definition of vermin
: small common harmful or objectionable animals (as lice or fleas) that are difficult to control
Seen and Heard
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