ver·​min | \ ˈvər-mən How to pronounce vermin (audio) \
plural vermin

Definition of vermin

1a : small common harmful or objectionable animals (such as lice or fleas) that are difficult to control
b : birds and mammals that prey on game
c : animals that at a particular time and place compete (as for food) with humans or domestic animals
2 : an offensive person

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Synonyms for vermin


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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 on the Web Within a year, the camp was overcrowded and overrun by vermin. Dawn Mitchell, The Indianapolis Star, "The history behind the Confederate monument removed from Garfield Park," 8 June 2020 According to the complaint, the defendants not only allowed people to stay in a building that was not permitted for residential use but also had failed to keep the property in good repair and free of rubbish and vermin. Los Angeles Times, "They paid $800 a month to live without water or power in an abandoned L.A. church," 21 Oct. 2019 This room didn’t provide proper air circulation or protect food from vermin and insects because the room’s entrances weren’t sealed tightly, according to the lawsuit. Janelle Bitker,, "Lawsuit alleges Michelin-starred S.F. restaurant Angler stored food among rodent feces," 24 Feb. 2020 Cripples, retards, Communists, socialists, trade-union members and other vermin! Kyle Smith, National Review, "Marcel Marceau’s War," 29 Mar. 2020 Others claim that cool, dry conditions that delay tick infestations allow more of a deer’s nutrients to go to antlers instead of fighting blood-sucking vermin. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "The Keys to Deer Antler Growth," 26 Mar. 2020 In mid-September, Pohl met with Portland business leaders, emphasizing the importance of a clean and vermin-free waterfront. Bess Lovejoy, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Pioneering Health Officer Who Saved Portland From the Plague," 25 Mar. 2020 While some people may see wolves as vermin, many more put a high value on wolves. Ben Long, Outdoor Life, "Finding a Middle Ground on Wolves and Wolf Management," 6 Mar. 2020 Councilman Joe Buscaino, who has criticized the city over its handling of sidewalk cleanups of homeless people, was the only council member to argue during council meetings that the camps attract vermin., "Filth from homeless camps is luring rats to L.A. City Hall, report says," 3 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of vermin

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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 worm entry 1, -ine entry 1

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Time Traveler for vermin

Time Traveler

The first known use of vermin was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vermin

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vermin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for vermin


How to pronounce vermin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vermin

: 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
informal : very bad, unpleasant, or offensive people


ver·​min | \ ˈvər-mən How to pronounce vermin (audio) \
plural vermin

Kids Definition of vermin

: small common harmful or objectionable animals (as fleas or mice) that are difficult to get rid of


ver·​min | \ ˈvər-mən How to pronounce vermin (audio) \
plural vermin

Medical Definition of vermin

: small common harmful or objectionable animals (as lice or fleas) that are difficult to control

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More from Merriam-Webster on vermin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vermin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vermin

Spanish Central: Translation of vermin

Nglish: Translation of vermin for Spanish Speakers

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