squirrel

Definitions

  • A squirrel holding a partially eaten nut
    A squirrel holding a partially eaten nut
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n squirrel a kind of arboreal rodent having a long bushy tail
    • n squirrel the fur of a squirrel
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Two girls feed nuts to a squirrel Two girls feed nuts to a squirrel
THE GRAY SQUIRREL THE GRAY SQUIRREL
Music - Three Little Squirrels by Charles Bassett Music - Three Little Squirrels by Charles Bassett
BOY AND SQUIRREL BOY AND SQUIRREL
Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow Flying Squirrel and Lightning Bow

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: During the winter, squirrels make waterproof nests in hollow trees.
    • Squirrel (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Sciurus and several allied genera of the family Sciuridæ. Squirrels generally have a bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species live in burrows.
    • Squirrel One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work with the large cylinder.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: President Eisenhower also banished squirrels from the grounds because they were ruining the green.
    • n squirrel A rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ and genus Sciurus, originally and specifically Sciurus vulgaris of Europe. Squirrels have pointed ears and a long bushy tail; they are of active arboreal habits, and are able to sit up on their hind quarters and use the fore paws like hands. S. vulgaris, called in England skug, is a squirrel 8 or 10 inches long (the tail being nearly as much more), with an elegant reddish-brown coat, white below, and the ears tufted or penciled. It lives in trees, is very agile and graceful in its movements, feeds on all kinds of small hard fruits, nests in a hole, hibernates to some extent in the colder latitudes, and brings forth usually three or four young. It is readily tamed, and makes an interesting pet. The North American squirrel nearest to this one is the chickaree, or red squirrel, S. hudsonius. (See cut under chickaree.) The common gray squirrel of the United States is S. carolinensis. (See cut under Sciurus.) Fox- or cat-squirrels are several large red, gray, or black species of North America, (See cut under fox-squirrel.) North America (including Mexico and Central America) is very rich in squirrels; southern Asia and Africa are less rich, while South America and Europe have each but a single species of Sciurus proper. In the extension of the name squirrel to other genera of the family, the species of Tamias, Spermophilus, and Cynomys are distinguished as ground-squirrels or prairie-squirrels, and some of them are also called marmot-squirrels (see cuts under chipmunk, Spermophilus, owl, and prairie-dog); those of Sciuropterus and Pteromys are flying-squirrels (see cuts under flying-squirrel and Sciuropterus). The scale-tailed squirrels of Africa belong to a different family, Anomaluridæ. (See cut under Anomaluridæ.) Certain Australian marsupials, as phalangers or petaurists, which resemble squirrels, are improperly so called. (See cut under Acrobates.) Some Sciuridæ have other vernacular names, as skug, assapan, taguan, jelerang, hackee, chickaree, gopher, sisel, suslik, prairie-dog, wishtonwish, etc.; but squirrel, without a qualifying term, is practically confined to the genus Sciurus, all the many members of which resemble one another too closely to be mistaken. See the technical names, and cut under Xerus.
    • n squirrel In cotton manufacturing, one of the small card-covered rollers used with the large roller of a carding-machine. Also called urchin.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Squirrels eat through 40,000 pine cones a year.
    • n Squirrel skwir′el a nimble, reddish-brown, rodent little animal with hairy tail and large eyes, mainly of arboreal habit
    • ***

Quotations

  • Robert Burton
    Robert%20Burton
    “Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.”
  • Millicent Fenwick
    Millicent Fenwick
    “Never feel self-pity, the most destructive emotion there is. How awful to be caught up in the terrible squirrel cage of self.”

Idioms

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while - This expression means that even if people are ineffective or misguided, sometimes they can still be correct just by being lucky.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. squirel, OF. esquirel, escurel, F. écureuil, LL. squirelus, squirolus, scuriolus, dim. of L. sciurus, Gr. si`oyros; skia` shade + o'yra` tail. Cf. Shine (v. i.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. escurel—Low L. scurellus, dim. of L. sciurus—Gr. skiourosskia, shade, oura, tail.

Usage

In literature:

And so did Frisky Squirrel.
"The Tale of Grunty Pig" by Arthur Scott Bailey
He silently made them his sentinels, his watchers, the bear, the rabbit, the squirrel, the wildcat and even the tawny yellow panther.
"The Eyes of the Woods" by Joseph A. Altsheler
After a time let each squirrel change places with one of the players of the tree so as to give all a chance to be squirrels.
"Games and Play for School Morale" by Various
She taught him how to catch birds and squirrels.
"The Tree-Dwellers" by Katharine Elizabeth Dopp
By-and-by a squirrel climbing from tree to tree reached the oak, and stayed to look at Bevis beneath in the shadow.
"Wood Magic" by Richard Jefferies
But the squirrel lived a long way off in the wood, and thus it was a considerable time before he got there.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf; a Practical Plan of Character Building, Volume I (of 17)" by Various
Birds flashed and disappeared; squirrels chattered indignantly; chipmunks scurried away.
"The Adventures of Bobby Orde" by Stewart Edward White
The squirrel is a fine subject for a painter.
"Heads and Tales" by Various
There is no nest-builder that suffers more from crows and squirrels and other enemies than the wood thrush.
"Bird Stories from Burroughs" by John Burroughs
Squirrels leave nuts in queer places and plant some of them 61 38.
"Seed Dispersal" by William J. Beal
A pet squirrel came to comfort him or to get some corn.
"True to His Home" by Hezekiah Butterworth
I pretended not to see her; let on like I was hunting for a squirrel up in a tree, until she came up.
"The Jucklins" by Opie Read
The flights and songs of birds and the boisterous chatter of the squirrels now became so many helps.
"A Virginia Scout" by Hugh Pendexter
It was a very dry spell and squirrels were hard to find, owing, the boys agreed, to the noise made in tramping through the dry leaves.
"Two Little Confederates" by Thomas Nelson Page
The silence was oppressive; not a bird called, not a squirrel chattered, not an insect hummed.
"Little Brothers of the Air" by Olive Thorne Miller
I was only scaring a squirrel.
"Golden Days for Boys and Girls" by Various
On the green beyond Cassy could see them, could see, too, a squirrel there that had gone quite mad.
"The Paliser case" by Edgar Saltus
But it was only a squirrel, as Huz immediately discovered.
"Chicken Little Jane on the Big John" by Lily Munsell Ritchie
Now, if I live a hundred years, I'll never harm another squirrel.
"Happy Days for Boys and Girls" by Various
He came to an old log, which was the home of a large family of squirrels.
"Nature Myths and Stories for Little Children" by Flora J. Cooke
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In poetry:

Upon the boughs the Squirrel sits,
The Wood-Mouse plays below;
And plenty of food it finds itself
Where the Beech and Chestnut grow.
"The Wood-Mouse" by Mary Botham Howitt
The pigeon's coo, the squirrel's chirp,
The wild-bird's thrilling lay,
Brought freshen'd pleasure to his heart,
At ev'ry op'ning day.
"The Huntsman And His Hound" by Thomas Frederick Young
The birds and the squirrels played round it,
As careless and merry was she,
But not tree ever grew from her planting--
No beautiful blossoming tree.
"Fate" by Madge Morris Wagner
All things above were bright and fair,
All things were glad and free;
Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
And wild birds filled the echoing air
With songs of Liberty!
"The Slave In The Dismal Swamp" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Swift squirrels on the pastures took their ease,
With leaping lambs safe from the unfeared knife;
All singing-birds rejoicing in those trees
Fulfilled their careless life.
"From House To House" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Bird, squirrel, bee, and the thing that was like no other
Played in the woods that day,
Talked in the heart of the woods, as brother to brother,
And prayed as children pray, –
Make me a garland, Lady, a garland, Mother,
For this wild rood of may.
"Shadow-of-a-Leaf" by Alfred Noyes

In news:

Squirrels fall in first game at Paducah .
Ryan Fortner led the Squirrels with two hits including a home run.
The man known as the Squirrel is accused of numerous crimes, including the possible slaying of an American who vanished, reportedly while jet-skiing.
Two turtledoves & a squirrel in a pear tree .
It sounds like squirrel damage.
A couple in Pennsylvania found this unusual looking squirrel in their backyard.
This squirrel may just have revived the trend – or missed the bus.
"We Would Fry Squirrels in a Popcorn Popper ".
Allen Smith Get Rid of Squirrels in Potted Plants PBS.
40 am, when "the squirrel gave his all," said Steve Corson, a spokesman for Portland General Electric.
It was between 2 squirrels, I got so close to the Hawk I could just about touch it.
Saturday is Squirrel Appreciation Day.
"21 Jump Street" star Brie Larson, Owen Wilson and Olivia Wilde are attached to star in Peter Bogdanovich's quirky indie comedy "Squirrels to the Nuts," which will be produced by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach.
The St Louis Cardinals have the famed playoff squirrel.
Latin for "squirrel-mimic" -- albersdoerferi, the dinosaur lived 150 million years ago in what is now Germany.
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In science:

Some atoms are helium which will enliven a child’s birthday party when she experiences what it might be like to talk as a squirrel.
Single barium ion spectroscopy: light shifts, hyperfine structure, and progress on an optical frequency standard and atomic parity violation
Druschel, “Squirrel: a dece ntralized peerto-peer web cache,” in PODC ’02: Proceedings of the twenty-first annual symposium on Principles of distributed computing.
Network Compression: Memory-Assisted Universal Coding of Sources with Correlated Parameters
A very fearful squirrel is careful enough never to go farther than a distance R from its burrow.
Oscar's Physics Phaire: A Collection of Problems
One day the squirrel leaves its burrow, gets a cone near a pine tree, gets a nut near an oak tree and returns to the burrow leaving behind a path in the shape of a triangle having maximum area.
Oscar's Physics Phaire: A Collection of Problems
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