noun, plural squir·rels, (especially collectively) squir·rel.
verb (used with object), squir·reled, squir·rel·ing or (especially British) squir·relled, squir·rel·ling.
- squirrel away,
- squirrel cage,
- squirrel corn,
- squirrel monkey,
- squirrel's-foot fern
Origin of squirrel
noun plural -rels or -rel
verb -rels, -relling or -relled or esp US -rels, -reling or -reled
Word Origin for squirrel
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.