any of numerous arboreal, bushy-tailed rodents of the genus Sciurus, of the family Sciuridae.
any of various other members of the family Sciuridae, as the chipmunks, flying squirrels, and woodchucks.
the meat of such an animal.
the pelt or fur of such an animal: a coat trimmed with squirrel.
verb (used with object),squir·reled,squir·rel·ing or (especially British)squir·relled,squir·rel·ling.
to store or hide (money, valuables, etc.), usually for the future (often followed by away): I've squirreled away a few dollars for an emergency.
Origin of squirrel
1325–75;Middle Englishsquirel < Anglo-Frenchescuirel (Old Frenchescuireul) ≪ Vulgar Latin*scūrellus,*scūriolus, representing Latinsciurus (< Greekskíouros literally, shadow-tailed (ski(á) shadow + -ouros, adj. derivative of ourá tail); apparently so called because the tail was large enough to provide shade for the rest of the animal) with diminutive suffixes -ellus, -olus
Related formssquir·rel·ish, squir·rel·like, adjective
early 14c., from Anglo-French esquirel, Old French escurel (Modern French écureuil), from Vulgar Latin *scuriolus, diminutive of *scurius "squirrel," variant of Latin sciurus, from Greek skiouros "a squirrel," literally "shadow-tailed," from skia "shadow" (see shine (v.)) + oura "tail." Perhaps the original notion is "that which makes a shade with its tail." The Old English word was acweorna, which survived into Middle English as aquerne.
"to hoard up, store away" (as a squirrel does nuts), 1939, from squirrel (n.). Related: Squirreled; squirreling.