The word is sometimes conjectured to come from an Anglo-Norman derivative of Old French dormir (“to sleep”) (as *dormouse (“tending to be dormant”), with second element mistaken for mouse), but no such Anglo-Norman term is known to have existed.
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈdɔɹmaʊs/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɔːmaʊs/
Audio (UK) (file)
dormouse (plural dormice)
- Any of several species of small, mostly European rodents of the family Gliridae; also called Myoxidae or Muscardinidae by some taxonomists.
- 1837, George Sand, Stanley Young, transl., Mauprat, Cassandra Editions, published 1977, →ISBN, page 237:
- For a long time the dormouse and polecat had seemed to him overfeeble enemies for his restless valour, even as the granary floor seemed to afford too narrow a field. Every day he read the papers of the previous day in the servants' hall of the houses he visited, and it appeared to him that this war in America, which was hailed as the awakening of the spirit of liberty and justice in the New World, ought to produce a revolution in France.
- Glis glis, the edible dormouse
- (Britain) Muscardinus avellanarius, the hazel dormouse.
- (figuratively) A person who sleeps a great deal, or who falls asleep readily (by analogy with the sound hibernation of the dormouse).
- ^ Random House Dictionary, dormouse.