weasel

Definitions

  • The weasel perches on Mademoiselle's shoulder
    The weasel perches on Mademoiselle's shoulder
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n weasel small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body and neck
    • n weasel a person who is regarded as treacherous or sneaky
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Weasel (Zoöl) Any one of various species of small carnivores belonging to the genus Putorius, as the ermine and ferret. They have a slender, elongated body, and are noted for the quickness of their movements and for their bloodthirsty habit in destroying poultry, rats, etc. The ermine and some other species are brown in summer, and turn white in winter; others are brown at all seasons.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n weasel A small carnivorous digitigrade mammal of the restricted genus Putorius, of the family Mustelidæ, related to the stoat or ermine, ferret, and polecat of the same genus, and less intimately to the marten or sable of the genus Mustela of the same family. The species to which the name is most frequeutly or especially applied is P.vulgaris, the common weasel of Europe and of most of the cold and temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, distinguished by the comparative length and extreme slenderness of the body, and very small size, being only some 6 or 8 inches long, with a tail of 2 inches in length, or less; the color is reddish-brown above, and white below; the tail is of the same color as the body, and not tipped with black. In northerly regions it turns white in winter, like the ermine. It feeds on rats, mice, moles, shrews, small birds and their eggs, and insects; and, though itself classed as vermin by gamekeepers, it is often serviceable as a destroyer of vermin in ricks, barns, and granaries, its small size and lithe, sinuous body enabling it to penetrate almost everywhere. Its cunning and wariness are proverbial in the expression to catch a weasel asleep—that is, to do an extremely difficult thing by strategy, finesse, or unexpected action. Other species of Putorius, properly called weasels, inhabit most parts of the world, and the name has loosely attached to various animals of different families, some of which applications are noted in phrases below.
    • n weasel The weasel-coot.
    • n weasel A lean, mean, sneaking, greedy fellow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Weasel wē′zl a common carnivore belonging to the same genus as the polecat and stoat—the body long and slender—eating rats, frogs, birds, mice, &c.:
    • n Weasel wē′zl (Shak.) a lean, hungry fellow
    • ***

Quotations

  • Matt Groening
    Matt Groening
    “Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.”

Idioms

Weasel words - If somebody uses vaque and unspecific terms to try to avoid being clear about their position or opinion, they are using weasel words.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. wesele, AS. wesle,; akin to D. wezel, G. wiesel, OHG. wisala, Icel. hreyivīsla, Dan. väsel, Sw. vessla,; of uncertain origin; cf. Gr. , , cat, weasel
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. wesle; Ger. wiesel.

Usage

In literature:

There are other animals, like the weasels, that will also play with strange friends.
"The Human Side of Animals" by Royal Dixon
And Babhru said: Nay, he was a little ugly man, with weasel eyes.
"Bubbles of the Foam" by Unknown
Under their cover I stood a fair chance at weaseling off.
"Winning a Cause" by John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood
The Weasels and the Mice were always up in arms against each other.
"The Æsop for Children" by Æsop
Minks, and weasels, are his aversion, as much as other vermin.
"Rural Architecture" by Lewis Falley Allen
Presently another weasel came out of the hedge by the roadside, and went up to the injured one.
"Chatterbox, 1905." by Various
Pop goes the weasel!
"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Aunt Lu's City Home" by Laura Lee Hope
Huldah, Hebrew, a weasel.
"The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing" by Joseph Triemens
Perhaps he'll not again try weasel-trapping.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, January 28, 1893" by Various
The lean, bloodthirsty minks and weasels are on the hunt all winter.
"The Wit of a Duck and Other Papers" by John Burroughs
***

In poetry:

At my table on the ship.
He felt for his food.
His fingers had the noses of weasels.
I couldn't stop looking.
"Little Fugue" by Sylvia Plath
To a weasel's shadow,
And when, through his ceiling, he sees
Anything darker than snow
He falls away
To gather more and more force
"Pursuit From Under" by James Dickey
Snarling complete in the joy of a weasel
With an elk's horned heart in his stomach
Looking straight into the eternal
Blue, where he hauls his kind. I would have it all
"For The Last Wolverine" by James Dickey
A wild swine sat on his shoulders broad,
Upon his bosom a black bear snor'd;
And about his fingers, with hair o'erhung,
The squirrel sported, and weasel clung.
Look out, look out, Svend Vonved.
"Svend Vonved" by George Borrow
You get Vegematic and the Pocket Fisherman, too,
Iluminated, illustrated History of Life
And Box Car Willie with a ginsu knife,
A bamboo steamer and a garden weasel, too,
And a tie dyed day-glow souvenir shirt
From Six Flags Over Burbank.
"Vegematic" by Shel Silverstein

In news:

Least Weasels average 8 to 11 inches long and weigh less than 4 ounces.
Weasels are master predators and live off what they kill.
Weasel Boy talks about craft beer growth.
Weasel Boy Brewing to host benefit for late Cambridge-area musician May 18.
'Survivor' weasel Russell Hantz returns to reality TV in 'Flipped Off'.
Weasel Boy vs Plastic Man — Will Durst.
Acquittal in Hoquiam dead weasel assault.
A Washington man was recently attacked in his apartment by a man carrying a dead weasel .
Weasel wielded as weapon.
Police say a man was carrying a dead weasel when he burst into an apartment and assaulted a man in Washington state.
The victim asked, "Why are you carrying a weasel ".
Screeching Weasel 's Ben " Weasel " Foster (Getty).
BP setting new definition for ' weasel .
Gaffes, Lies and Weasel Apologies.
How do you get rid of a weasel .
***