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ferret

1
[ fer-it ]
/ ˈfɛr ɪt /
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See synonyms for: ferret / ferreted / ferreting / ferreter on Thesaurus.com

noun
a domesticated, usually red-eyed, and albinic variety of the polecat, used in Europe for driving rabbits and rats from their burrows.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
to search about.
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Origin of ferret

1
1350–1400; Middle English fer(r)et(te), fyret, furet<Middle French furet<Vulgar Latin *furittus, equivalent to fūr thief (<Latin ) + -ittus-et

OTHER WORDS FROM ferret

fer·ret·er, nounfer·ret·y, adjectiveun·fer·ret·ed, adjectiveun·fer·ret·ing, adjective

Other definitions for ferret (2 of 2)

ferret2
[ fer-it ]
/ ˈfɛr ɪt /

noun
a narrow tape or ribbon, as of silk or cotton, used for binding, trimming, etc.

Origin of ferret

2
1570–80; alteration of Italian fioretto floss silk, literally, little flower, equivalent to fior(e) (<Latin flōrem;see flower) + -etto-et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ferret in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ferret (1 of 2)

ferret1
/ (ˈfɛrɪt) /

noun
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
verb -rets, -reting or -reted

Derived forms of ferret

ferreter, nounferrety, adjective

Word Origin for ferret

C14: from Old French furet, from Latin fur thief

British Dictionary definitions for ferret (2 of 2)

ferret2

ferreting

/ (ˈfɛrɪt) /

noun
silk binding tape

Word Origin for ferret

C16: from Italian fioretti floss silk, plural of fioretto : a little flower, from fiore flower, from Latin flōs
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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