- a domesticated, usually red-eyed, and albinic variety of the polecat, used in Europe for driving rabbits and rats from their burrows.
- black-footed ferret.
- to drive out by using or as if using a ferret (often followed by out): to ferret rabbits from their burrows; to ferret out enemies.
- to hunt with ferrets.
- to hunt over with ferrets: to ferret a field.
- to search out, discover, or bring to light (often followed by out): to ferret out the facts.
- to harry, worry, or torment: His problems ferreted him day and night.
- to search about.
Origin of ferret1
Examples from the Web for ferreting
The Maidan people constantly interrupted her speech on the pretext of ferreting out ‘provocateurs’ from the crowd.Occupy Kiev: What Should Ukraine Do Now With The Heroes of the Maidan?
February 26, 2014
It's no joke to see you tossing all my things about and ferreting everywhere in this way.The Fat and the Thin
The case is one of importance and no delay should occur in ferreting it out.Between the Lines
Henry Bascom Smith
He had not, with all his skill and cunning, her genius for ferreting.The Art of Disappearing
John Talbot Smith
Of the many modes of taking the "coney," ferreting and field-netting are the most common.
Of the many modes of taking the "coney," ferreting is the most common.
- a domesticated albino variety of the polecat Mustela putorius, bred for hunting rats, rabbits, etc
- an assiduous searcher
- black-footed ferret a musteline mammal, Mustela nigripes, of W North America, closely related to the weasels
- to hunt (rabbits, rats, etc) with ferrets
- (tr usually foll by out) to drive from hidingto ferret out snipers
- (tr usually foll by out) to find by persistent investigation
- (intr) to search around
- silk binding tape
Word Origin and History for ferreting
early 15c., from ferret (n.), in reference to the use of half-tame ferrets to kill rats and flush rabbits from burrows; the extended sense of "search out, discover" is 1570s. Related: Ferreted; ferreting.
late 14c., from Old French furet, diminutive of fuiron "weasel, ferret," literally "thief," probably from Late Latin furionem (related to furonem "cat," also "robber"), from Latin fur (genitive furis) "thief."