[ dawr-mous ]

noun,plural dor·mice [dawr-mahys]. /ˈdɔrˌmaɪs/.
  1. any small, furry-tailed, Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, resembling small squirrels in appearance and habits.

Origin of dormouse

First recorded in1400–50; late Middle English dormowse, dormoise; etymology obscure; perhaps Anglo-French derivative of Old French dormir “to sleep,” with final syllable reanalyzed as mouse, but no such Anglo-French word is known; see dormant, mouse Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use dormouse in a sentence

  • Dormice are still eaten in some parts of Europe, and the Romans used to keep them as part of their live stock.

  • Beside these creatures there are the Dormice, several species of which animal inhabit Palestine at the present day.

    Bible Animals; | J. G. Wood
  • In a similar way, dormice, squirrels, and bears grow very fat before they retire to some snug hole to sleep out the long winter.

  • Harvest mice and dormice, although widely distributed, are not numerous, and the original English black rat is now rare.

    Devonshire | Francis A. Knight
  • Of these two species we only know the latter, as the dormice of France have no smell either good or bad.

    Buffon's Natural History. Volume VI (of 10) | Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

British Dictionary definitions for dormouse


/ (ˈdɔːˌmaʊs) /

nounplural -mice
  1. any small Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, esp the Eurasian Muscardinus avellanarius, resembling a mouse with a furry tail

Origin of dormouse

C15: dor-, perhaps from Old French dormir to sleep, from Latin dormīre + mouse

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