weasel word

noun

Definition of weasel word

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

weasel word was our Word of the Day on 07/16/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of weasel word in a sentence

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

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.

Origin and Etymology of weasel word

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


First Known Use: 1900


WEASEL WORD Defined for English Language Learners

weasel word

noun

Definition of weasel word for English Language Learners

  • : a word used in order to avoid being clear or direct

Learn More about weasel word


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a person who is a bore or nuisance

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