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or varment

[vahr-muh nt] /ˈvɑr mənt/
Chiefly Southern and South Midland U.S.
  1. vermin.
  2. an objectionable or undesirable animal, usually predatory, as a coyote or bobcat.
a despicable, obnoxious, or annoying person.
Origin of varmint
1530-40; variant of vermin (with regular outcome of Middle Englishĕr before consonant (cf. argal3, parson) and parasitic t) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for varmint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'd just like to look along the barrels of my gun at the varmint, as Jim calls him.

  • I object, if you're meaning to tackle the varmint alone and single-handed, Phil!

  • I saw the critter when I was on the island—more'n that, the varmint chased me.

    Frank Merriwell's Cruise Burt L. Standish
  • A white man "cried" me off just like I was a animal or varmint or something.

  • Knowing only that he was "varmint" I endeavoured to kill him quickly with a spade.

  • They oughter be a black oak about here with a varmint hole in hit.

    A Tar-Heel Baron Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  • I begun to fear that the varmint had a cave, and so, cuss him!

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • "The varmint shall be speedily unearthed," said Wilder, rushing to the spot.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • There is no more cunning or treacherous a varmint than a true-bred red-skin.

    Dick Onslow W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for varmint


(informal) an irritating or obnoxious person or animal
Word Origin
C16: dialect variant of varminvermin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for varmint

1530s, chiefly American English dialectal variant of vermin. Meaning "objectionable or troublesome person" is recorded from 1773.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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