- any small carnivore of the genus Mustela, of the family Mustelidae, having a long, slender body and feeding chiefly on small rodents.
- any of various similar animals of the family Mustelidae.
- a cunning, sneaky person.
- a tracked vehicle resembling a tractor, used in snow.
- Slang. an informer; stool pigeon.
- to evade an obligation, duty, or the like; renege (often followed by out): That's one invitation I'd like to weasel out of.
- to use weasel words; be ambiguous; mislead: Upon cross-examination the witness began to weasel.
- Slang. to inform.
Origin of weasel
Examples from the Web for weasel
Note the weasel words (a term they do actually teach in law school): “affected community.”Facebook Apologizes For, but Doesn’t Retract, Discriminatory ‘Real Name’ Policy
October 1, 2014
His mean face slowly resolved into a baffled, respectful expression, like that of a weasel facing a trap.‘The Land of the Permanent Wave’ Is Bud Shrake’s Classic Take on ‘60s Texas
February 2, 2014
I think the American people would like to hear Romney weasel around that one.One Thing About the Debate I Forgot in that Previous Piece
October 22, 2012
She had read the appeal and says she felt it contained the lies of a killer trying to weasel out of full responsibility.Families Decry Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Life Without Parole
June 26, 2012
Consider seeing yourself branded a PERV POL and WEASEL in your local papers day after day.9 Ways to Survive a Sex Scandal
June 12, 2011
The wolverene is a big cousin to the weasel, and also to the skunk.The House in the Water
Charles G. D. Roberts
HE Otter belongs to a class of animals which we may call the Weasel tribe.
The Weasel refused, saying that he was by nature the enemy of all birds.Aesop's Fables
He connected this fact with Uncle Remus's allusions to the weasel.Nights With Uncle Remus
Joel Chandler Harris
In shape it is somewhat like a weasel, and is the largest of the tree martens.The Western World
- any of various small predatory musteline mammals of the genus Mustela and related genera, esp M. nivalis (European weasel), having reddish-brown fur, an elongated body and neck, and short legs
- informal a sly or treacherous person
- mainly US a motor vehicle for use in snow, esp one with caterpillar tracks
Word Origin and History for weasel
Old English weosule, wesle "weasel," from Proto-Germanic *wisulon (cf. Old Norse visla, Middle Dutch wesel, Dutch wezel, Old High German wisula, German Wiesel), probably related to Proto-Germanic *wisand- "bison" (see bison), with a base sense of "stinking animal," because both animals have a foul, musky smell (cf. Latin vissio "stench"). A John Wesilheued ("John Weaselhead") turns up on the Lincolnshire Assize Rolls for 1384, but the name seems not to have endured, for some reason.
"to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning," 1900, from weasel (n.); so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact; the sense of "extricate oneself (from a difficult place) like a weasel" is first recorded 1925; that of "to evade and equivocate" is from 1956.