ermine

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English[edit]

ermine, Mustela erminea

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English ermine, ermin, ermyn, from Old French ermin, ermine, hermine.

There are two main theories for the origin of Old French ermine. Germanic origin is suggested via Old Dutch *harmino ‎(stoat skin), from *harmo ‎(stoat, weasel) (compare Dutch dialectal herm), from Proto-Germanic *harmô (compare Old English hearma, Old High German harmo (harmin ‎(adjective), obsolete German Harm), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱormō (compare Romansch carmun, obsolete Lithuanian šarmuõ). Romance sources identify the animal with the corresponding word for Armenian, possibly from Medieval Latin mūs Armenius ‎(Armenian mouse) or a posterior compound.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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ermine ‎(plural ermine or ermines)

  1. A weasel, Mustela erminea, found in northern latitudes; its dark brown fur turns white in winter (apart from the black tip of the tail)
  2. The white fur of this animal
  3. (poetic) A symbol of purity
  4. (figuratively) The office of a judge
  5. (heraldry) A white field with black spots

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

ermine ‎(third-person singular simple present ermines, present participle ermining, simple past and past participle ermined)

  1. To clothe with ermine

Anagrams[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

ermine f ‎(oblique plural ermines, nominative singular ermine, nominative plural ermines)

  1. ermine (fabric)