- plural of mouse.
- any of numerous small Old World rodents of the family Muridae, especially of the genus Mus, introduced widely in other parts of the world.
- any similar small animal of various rodent and marsupial families.
- a quiet, timid person.
- Computers. a palm-sized, button-operated pointing device that can be used to move, select, activate, and change items on a computer screen.Compare joystick(def 2), stylus(def 3).
- Informal. a swelling under the eye, caused by a blow or blows; black eye.
- Slang. a girl or woman.
- to hunt out, as a cat hunts out mice.
- Nautical. to secure with a mousing.
- to hunt for or catch mice.
- to prowl about, as if in search of something: The burglar moused about for valuables.
- to seek or search stealthily or watchfully, as if for prey.
- Computers. to use a mouse to move the cursor on a computer screen to any position.
Origin of mouse
Examples from the Web for mice
A just-published study in the journal Nature explored how mice reacted to a diet of artificial sweeteners.Are Artificial Sweeteners Wrecking Your Diet?
September 30, 2014
Then again, are all mice with round heads and ears copyrighted by Disney?Mickey Mouse Takes Deadmau5 to Court
September 3, 2014
Without the beeps and whirs of a cellphone, you can use your ears to detect crickets, mice, or other vermin in your home.Aubrey Plaza’s Great Disconnect
August 15, 2014
And Leighton Meester pens feminist essay on 'Of Mice and Men.'Man Arrested For Posing As Johnny Depp's Stylist; Patrick Schwarzenegger and Gigi Hadid Front Tom Ford Eyewear Campaign
The Fashion Beast Team
July 16, 2014
The mice were grafted with 100% hairless human skin and then administered the drug.Can This Arthritis Drug Cure Baldness?
June 20, 2014
The mice, he avers, enjoyed the pleasures of the chase with composure.The Devil's Dictionary
The paper bags from which the mice had burst were still in the center of the floor.
All over the room ran the mice, and all about darted the frightened girls.
Her solicitude was no less manifest when she brought me rats or mice.
Every day he brought Jack mice and squirrels and other game as long as he lived.
- the plural of mouse
- any of numerous small long-tailed rodents of the families Muridae and Cricetidae that are similar to but smaller than ratsSee also fieldmouse, harvest mouse, house mouse Related adjective: murine
- any of various related rodents, such as the jumping mouse
- a quiet, timid, or cowardly person
- computing a hand-held device used to control the cursor movement and select computing functions without keying
- slang a black eye
- nautical another word for mousing
- to stalk and catch (mice)
- (intr) to go about stealthily
- (tr) nautical to secure (a hook) with mousing
Word Origin and History for mice
Old English mus "small rodent," also "muscle of the arm," from Proto-Germanic *mus (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Danish, Swedish mus, Dutch muis, German Maus "mouse"), from PIE *mus- (cf. Sanskrit mus "mouse, rat," Old Persian mush "mouse," Old Church Slavonic mysu, Latin mus, Lithuanian muse "mouse," Greek mys "mouse, muscle").
Plural form mice (Old English mys) shows effects of i-mutation. Contrasted with man (n.) from 1620s. Meaning "black eye" (or other discolored lump) is from 1842. Computer sense is from 1965, though applied to other things resembling a mouse in shape since 1750, mainly nautical.
Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus [Horace]
"to hunt mice," mid-13c., from mouse (n.). Related: Moused; mousing.
- A hand-held input device that is moved about on a flat surface to direct the cursor on a computer screen. It also has buttons for activating computer functions. The underside of a mechanical mouse contains a rubber-coated ball that rotates as the mouse is moved; optical sensors detect the motion and move the screen pointer correspondingly. An optical mouse is cordless and uses reflections from an LED to track the mouse's movement over a special reflective mat which is marked with a grid that acts as a frame of reference.
A common device that allows the user to reposition an arrow on their computer screen in order to activate desired applications. The term mouse comes from the appearance of the device, with the cord to the main computer being seen as a tail of sorts.
Idioms and Phrases with mice
see best-laid plans of mice and men; when the cat's away, mice will play. Also see under mouse.
see play cat and mouse; poor as a churchmouse; quiet as a mouse. Also see under mice.