• synonyms


  1. any of numerous carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, comprising the weasels, martens, skunks, badgers, and otters.
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  1. belonging or pertaining to the family Mustelidae.
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Origin of mustelid

1905–10; < New Latin Mustelidae family name, equivalent to Mustel(a) a genus (Latin mustēla weasel) + -idae -id2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mustelid

Historical Examples

  • The Mustelid are allied to the Viverrid in their general conformation.

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • As a small point of likeness between this Mustelid and the Procyonidae may be mentioned the colours of the face.

  • Like all the other members of the family Mustelid, the Marten is provided with glands near the base of the tail.

Word Origin and History for mustelid


1910, from Modern Latin Mustelidae, taken as a genus name by Linnaeus (1758), from Latin mustela "weasel," possibly related to mus "mouse" (see mouse (n.)). Tucker tentatively suggests *mus-ters-la "mouse harrier" and Klein notes that the weasel was identified in antiquity as "the catcher of mice."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mustelid in Science


  1. Any of various small to midsize carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, usually having long, slender bodies, short legs, and well-developed anal scent glands. The pelts of many mustelids have been important for use in clothing. Weasels, skunks, badgers, wolverines, ferrets, mink, martens, and otters are mustelids.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.