weasel word


Definition of weasel word

: a word used in order to evade or retreat from a direct or forthright statement or position

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Did You Know?

Some people believe that weasels can suck the insides out of an egg without damaging the shell. An egg thus weasel-treated would look fine on the outside, but it would actually be empty and useless. We don't know if weasels can really do that, but the belief that they could caused people to start using "weasel word" to refer to any term intended to give the impression that everything is fine when the speaker is really trying to avoid answering a question, telling the truth, or taking the blame for something.

Examples of weasel word in a Sentence

“Reorganization” is just a weasel word that the company is using to say that jobs are being eliminated.

First Known Use of weasel word

1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for weasel word

from the weasel's reputed habit of sucking the contents out of an egg while leaving the shell superficially intact

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Time Traveler for weasel word

The first known use of weasel word was in 1900

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More Definitions for weasel word

weasel word


English Language Learners Definition of weasel word

informal + disapproving : a word used in order to avoid being clear or direct

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with weasel word

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