dormouse

Definitions

  • Dormouse
    Dormouse
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n dormouse small furry-tailed squirrel-like Old World rodent that becomes torpid in cold weather
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Dormouse (Zoöl) A small European rodent of the genus Myoxus, of several species. They live in trees and feed on nuts, acorns, etc.; -- so called because they are usually torpid in winter.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dormouse A rodent of the family Myoxidæ. The dormouse is peculiar among rodents in having no cæcum. The general appearance is squirrel-like, hence the name squirrel-mice sometimes given to these animals; but the structure and general affinities are murine. The dormice are confined to the old world, and are widely distributed in Europe and Asia, with some outlying forms in Africa. Their shape is neat and gracile; they have full eyes, shapely limbs, and a long hairy tail, which in Myoxus proper is bushy and distichous throughout, in Muscardinus bushy but cylindrical, in Eliomys tufted and flattened at the end, and in Graphi urus shorter and like a lead-pencil. There are about 12 species of the 4 genera named. The common dormouse is Muscardinus avellanarius, only about as large as the house-mouse; the fat dormouse or loir (Myoxus glis) and the garden-dormouse or lerot (Eliomys nitela) are both much larger. The dormice hibernate in a lethargic or torpid state, occasionally waking up in mild weather, and availing themselves of a stock of provisions which they have hoarded.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Dormouse a small rodent intermediate between the squirrel and the mouse, so called because torpid in winter:—pl. Dor′mice
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Perh. fr. F. dormir, to sleep (Prov. E. dorm, to doze) + E. mouse,; or perh. changed fr. F. dormeuse, fem., a sleeper, though not found in the sense of a dormouse,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. dormir—L. dormīre, to sleep.

Usage

In literature:

At last the venerable dormouse himself undertook it, for the very good reason that no one else would.
"The Indian Fairy Book" by Cornelius Mathews
Father, can you tell me if the dormouse is awake?
"Red Rose and Tiger Lily" by L. T. Meade
Before I went I swapped my dormouse with Jones ma.
"Adventures in Many Lands" by Various
The dormouse, of course, was the biggest of all the creatures.
"The Book of Dragons" by Edith Nesbit
Oh, you sleepy old dormouse!
"Dead Man's Land" by George Manville Fenn
Some people called him the dormouse.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
He and I had a room together, and he was nearly always fast asleep, like a fat dormouse, when I went up to bed.
"Peterkin" by Mary Louisa Molesworth
Only, instead of a dormouse and a stamp-album, I chose to purchase smartness.
"Punch or the London Charivari, September 9, 1914" by Various
But even so, it was very foolish to abandon watch, especially in such as I, who sleep like any dormouse.
"The Speaker, No. 5: Volume II, Issue 1" by Various
The younger Dormouse went to sleep.
"The Comical Creatures from Wurtemberg" by Unknown
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In poetry:

"The ants demand a special coach
If one ant-eater goes;
The dormouse wants a sleeping car;
The chickens shun the crows;
"August" by Nancy Byrd Turner
And most I like the winter nests deep-hid
That leaves and berries fell into:
Once a dormouse dined there on hazel-nuts,
And grass and goose-grass seeds found soil and grew.
"Birds' Nests" by Edward Thomas

In news:

The latest cool Tumblr blog, created by someone who calls himself Mr Dormouse, animates album covers to be eye-catching or interesting or just plain silly.
The Surrey Wildlife Trust in the UK posted this video of a sleeping dormouse about a month ago and the off-the-charts cuteness factor of this little guy has earned it more than 146,000 views and counting.
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