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 The third, fourth and fifth visits on May 27, June 1 and June 3 fared no better, with dozens of vermin spotted on each occasion. Phillip Valys,, 7 June 2021 The restaurants also received calls from the health department regarding complaints of vermin and other disgusting things, Sasson said. Kyle Davidson, Detroit Free Press, 2 June 2021 City officials claimed at the time that neighbors had filed complaints, saying there were issues with sanitation, vermin and noise at odd hours. CBS News, 14 May 2021 For example, in the 1500s in England, laws known as the vermin acts set bounties for killing many animals, not just rats and mice. New York Times, 11 May 2021 While Scott hoped to move on from the viral vermin story, the entertainment team at Citi Field leaned into it. Jerry Beach, Star Tribune, 8 May 2021 Upon flexing their green thumbs, though, many found that gardening comes with its own set of issues, from vermin to seasonal shifts. Lia Picard, Wired, 8 May 2021 Finally, his father, in a fit of furious disgust, tries to beat the vermin-Gregor back into his room. Stephen Marche, The New Yorker, 30 Apr. 2021 Such rodenticides, officials said, kill vermin by preventing blood from clotting normally, which leads to a fatal hemorrhage., 3 May 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vermin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on vermin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vermin

Nglish: Translation of vermin for Spanish Speakers


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