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ferret (plural ferrets)
- An often domesticated mammal (Mustela putorius furo) rather like a weasel, descended from the polecat and often trained to hunt burrowing animals.
- The black-footed ferret, Mustela nigripes.
- (figurative) A diligent searcher.
- 1998 July 2, Charles Nicholl, “Screaming in the Castle”, in London Review of Books, volume XX, number 13:
- The most challenging documentary discoveries were made by a tenacious archival ferret, Dr Antonio Bertoletti. In 1879 he published his findings in a slim, refreshingly dry volume, Francesco Cenci e la sua Famiglia.
the mammal Mustela putorius furo
- To hunt game with ferrets.
- (by extension, transitive, intransitive) To uncover and bring to light by searching; usually to ferret out.
- 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities:
- I confess that we were so unpopular with the outrageous mob, that I only got away from England at the risk of being ducked to death, and that Cly was so ferreted up and down, that he never would have got away at all but for that sham.
- 1842, Edgar Alan Poe, The Mistery of Marie Roget:
- He had been piqued by the failure of all his endeavors to ferret out the assassins.
to bring to light by searching
- (dated) A tape of silk, cotton, or ribbon, used to tie documents, clothing, etc. or along the edge of fabric.
ferret m (plural ferrets)
- “ferret”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.