squirrel

[ skwur-uh l, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-uh l ]
/ ˈskwɜr əl, ˈskwʌr- or, esp. British, ˈskwɪr əl /

noun, plural squir·rels, (especially collectively) squir·rel.

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 English squirel < Anglo-French escuirel (Old French escuireul) ≪ Vulgar Latin *scūrellus, *scūriolus, representing Latin sciurus (< Greek skíouros 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

OTHER WORDS FROM squirrel

squir·rel·ish, squir·rel·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squirrel

British Dictionary definitions for squirrel

squirrel
/ (ˈskwɪrəl, US ˈskwɜːrəl, ˈskwʌr-) /

noun plural -rels or -rel

any arboreal sciurine rodent of the genus Sciurus, such as S. vulgaris (red squirrel) or S. carolinensis (grey squirrel), having a bushy tail and feeding on nuts, seeds, etcRelated adjective: sciurine
any other rodent of the family Sciuridae, such as a ground squirrel or a marmot
the fur of such an animal
informal a person who hoards things

verb -rels, -relling or -relled or esp US -rels, -reling or -reled

(tr usually foll by away) informal to store for future use; hoard

Derived forms of squirrel

squirrel-like, adjective

Word Origin for squirrel

C14: from Old French esquireul, from Late Latin sciūrus, from Greek skiouros, from skia shadow + oura tail
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