ferret

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English[edit]

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Ferrets (Mustela putorius)

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English furet, ferret, from Anglo-Norman firet, furet, diminutive of Old French fuiron ‎(weasel, ferret), from Late Latin furo ‎(cat; robber), diminutive of Latin fur ‎(thief).

Noun[edit]

ferret ‎(plural ferrets)

  1. An often domesticated mammal rather like a weasel, descended from the polecat and often trained to hunt burrowing animals.
  2. The black-footed ferret, Mustela nigripes.
  3. A diligent searcher.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

ferret ‎(third-person singular simple present ferrets, present participle ferreting, simple past and past participle ferreted)

  1. To hunt game with ferrets.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To uncover and bring to light by searching; usually to ferret out.
    • William Shakespeare
      Master Fer! I'll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him.
    • 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.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room Chapter 1
      She ferreted in her bag; then held it up mouth downwards; then fumbled in her lap, all so vigorously that Charles Steele in the Panama hat suspended his paint-brush.

Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Italian fioretto

Noun[edit]

ferret

  1. (dated) A tape of silk, cotton, or ribbon, used to tie documents, clothing, etc. or along the edge of fabric.
    • Charles Dickens, Bleak House
      red tape and green ferret

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From fer +‎ -et.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ferret m ‎(plural ferrets)

  1. (metal) tag; aglet, aiguillette

External links[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

ferret

  1. third-person singular imperfect active subjunctive of ferō