or min·e·ver

  1. (in the Middle Ages) a fur of white or spotted white and gray used for linings and trimmings.Compare vair(def 1).
  2. any white fur, particularly that of the ermine, used especially on robes of state.

Origin of miniver

1250–1300; Middle English meniver < Middle French menu vair small vair; see menu Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for miniver

Historical Examples of miniver

  • A rich cloak of fur turned up with miniver drooped from his shoulders.

    Sir Nigel

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The sleeves are of black velvet; the hoods are of miniver, and are passed on from Proctor to Proctor.

  • "Thousands of women have married merely for freedom," said Miss Miniver.

    Ann Veronica

    H. G. Wells

  • Ann Veronica came in with a certain disregard of Miss Miniver.

    Ann Veronica

    H. G. Wells

  • Miss Miniver looked over her glasses at her friend almost balefully.

    Ann Veronica

    H. G. Wells

British Dictionary definitions for miniver


  1. white fur, used in ceremonial costumes

Word Origin for miniver

C13: from Old French menu vair, from menu small + vair variegated fur, vair
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

Word Origin and History for miniver

fur lining and trimming in a garment, c.1300, from Old French menu vair "minor fur;" see menu + vair.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper