• WordNet 3.6
    • v ferret search and discover through persistent investigation "She ferreted out the truth"
    • v ferret hunt with ferrets
    • v ferret hound or harry relentlessly
    • n ferret domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits
    • n ferret musteline mammal of prairie regions of United States; nearly extinct
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A female ferret can die if she goes into heat and cannot find a mate
    • n Ferret A kind of narrow tape, usually made of woolen; sometimes of cotton or silk; -- called also ferreting.
    • n Ferret (Zoöl) An animal of the Weasel family (Mustela furo syn. Putorius furo), about fourteen inches in length, of a pale yellow or white color, with red eyes. It is a native of Africa, but has been domesticated in Europe. Ferrets are used to drive rabbits and rats out of their holes. They are sometimes kept as pets.
    • n Ferret (Glass Making) The iron used for trying the melted glass to see if is fit to work, and for shaping the rings at the mouths of bottles.
    • v. t Ferret To drive or hunt out of a lurking place, as a ferret does the cony; to search out by patient and sagacious efforts; -- often used with out; as, to ferret out a secret. "Master Fer! I'll fer him, and firk him, and ferret him."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Ferrets sleep around 20 hours a day.
    • n ferret An artificial albinotic variety of the fitch or polecat, Putorius vulgaris or fœtidus, said to be of African origin, about 14 inches long, of a whitish or pale-yellowish color, with red or pink eyes, bred in confinement in Europe and America to kill rats, rabbits, and other vermin or small game living in holes, into which its lithe, slender, and sinuous body readily enters. The ferret is also called Putorius furo, and is by some considered a species; it is now known only as a domesticated animal. It is a near relative of the stoat or ermiue and the weasel, as well as of the polecat. See these words, and Mustelidœ, Putorius.
    • n ferret In glass-manuf, the iron used to try the melted matter to see if it is fit to work, and to make the rings at the mouths of bottles.
    • ferret To drive out of a lurking-place, as a ferret does the rabbit.
    • ferret Hence Figuratively, to search out by perseverance and cunning: commonly followed by out: as, to ferret out a secret.
    • ferret To search (a place).
    • ferret To worry, as a ferret does his prey.
    • ferret To hunt with ferrets: as, to ferret rats with trained ferrets.
    • n ferret Originally, a silk tape or narrow ribbon used for fastening or lacing; now, a narrow worsted or cotton ribbon used for binding, for shoestrings, etc., and also, when dyed in bright colors, for cockades, rosettes, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ferret fer′et ribbon woven from spun silk.
    • n Ferret fer′et a half-tamed albino variety of the polecat, employed in unearthing rabbits
    • v.t Ferret to drive out of a hiding-place: to search out cunningly:—pr.p. ferr′eting; pa.p. ferr′eted
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. furet, cf. LL. furo,; prob. fr. L. fur, thief (cf. Furtive); cf. Arm. fur, wise, sly


In literature:

Her eyes were as red as ferrets'; and I taxed her with it.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
If you will rear young ferrets and weasels you must not expect your poultry to be safe.
"The Man-Wolf and Other Tales" by Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian
But sooner or later Junior ferrets one of us out and presents himself beaming.
"Love Conquers All" by Robert C. Benchley
I'll ferret out your guilty secrets before long, as sure as my name is Blanche!
"The Unseen Bridgegroom" by May Agnes Fleming
But I ferreted everywhere; he gave everything away; people robbed him.
"His Masterpiece" by Emile Zola
I'll be all right if I dodge the ferrets at Victoria.
"In Friendship's Guise" by Wm. Murray Graydon
I leave you to hunt in the drawing-rooms, while I ferret in the kitchen.
"Japhet, In Search Of A Father" by Frederick Marryat
Who can tell, however, but I may ferret out something?
"The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain The Works of William Carleton, Volume One" by William Carleton
That of the herbalist lay principally in his ferret eyes.
"The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector The Works of William Carleton, Volume One" by William Carleton
Albert, by marriage, added the valuable county of Ferret in Alsace to the dominions of the house of Austria.
"The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power" by John S. C. Abbott

In poetry:

I do not mean to give offence,
But I have vainly striven
To ferret out the difference
'Twixt driver and the driven.
"Billy Vickers" by Henry Kendall
'Tis a subtle kind or spirit
Of a venom-kind of nature,
That can, like a coney-ferret,
Creep unawares upon a creature.
"A Quarrel With Love" by Nicholas Breton
Then finding he'd killed it he out with his knife,
He had gumption beside other merits -
And he cuts open Dragon, and under it's vest.
Safe and sound are the pup and the ferrets.
"St. George and the Dragon" by Weston and Lee
Then fellow goes off and old Uncle George thinks,
Of the brass and the bride in old satin,
So he brings out his pup and a pair of his ferrets,
And says to 'em 'We're going ratting.'
"St. George and the Dragon" by Weston and Lee
And was George afraid? Yes, he was and he run,
And he hid there in one of the ditches,
While the Dragon, the pig, ate his ferrets and pup,
Aye, best of his prize-winning er - she dogs.
"St. George and the Dragon" by Weston and Lee
Another miser has now his chest,
And it hoards wealth more and more;
Like ferrets his hands go in and out,
Burrowing, tossing the gold about—
Nor heed the heart that, gone from his breast,
Is the cold heap's bloodless core.
"For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also" by George MacDonald

In news:

Here's the latest from " Ferret 's Corner".
All the vaccinated ferrets became ill with the H1N1 virus and exhibited more severe clinical signs of illness than unvaccinated ferrets .
The ferret 's species is the only one native to North American.
Ferret out fun, and maybe a new pet.
Ferreting out music for the Under-18 set in Austin.
Ferreting for Facts in the Realm of Clinical Trials.
Researchers experimenting with various flu strains in ferrets found no evidence that a super-virulent hybrid flu strain could arise but did discover that swine flu out competes other flu strains, reports the University of Maryland Newsdesk.
Did you know that state and local law requires pet owners to vaccinate their dogs, cats, and ferrets for rabies each year.
How online poker players who suspected cheating were forced to successfully ferret out the cheaters themselves.
6 wasn't a great day for California ferret lovers.
Supporters of legalizing ferret ownership were disappointed that two candidates backing their drive lost Nov 6.
Another letdown for the ferret legalization lobby.
Pay-to-play is a scourge of local and state government, and the Journal does a good job ferreting it out this morning in the area of securities-fraud lawyers and their campaign giving to the officials who run public pension funds.
And my daughter announced that if she was granted three wishes, one would be to own all the ferrets.
Perfect for a guy whose last name sort of sounds like "ferret," Prince George's County firefighter Ryan J Ferriter has made a second noteworthy animal rescue in a week, further cementing his reputation as a modern-day Noah.

In science:

We attempt to provide an overview of the rapid progress in the field of DLSS development and ferret out the key open questions and stumbling blocks. A number of specific coronograph designs are discussed in Appendix 11.2.
Coronographic Methods for the Detection of Terrestrial Planets
Miranda for ferreting out an elusive mistake in a previous version of this paper, E.
A local proof of Petri's conjecture at the general curve
Flores et al., 2008] Flores, J. G., Gillard, L., Ferret, O., and de Chandelar, G. (2008).
MUDOS-NG: Multi-document Summaries Using N-gram Graphs (Tech Report)
The first is toward ferreting out estimates of the linear growth parameter β = Ω0.6/b.
Real-space cosmic fields from redshift-space distributions: a Green function approach
Ferreting Through X (3872) Alternatives”, presented by P.
Precision Measurements of the Timelike Electromagnetic Form Factors of the Pion, Kaon, and Proton