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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
weasel word
▪ And so in their turn came the fox and the stoat and the weasel.
▪ He'd agreed with her about the low weasels who had nominated her.
▪ I saw several tracks of rabbit, grouse, and one weasel.
▪ I see fresh red squirrel and hare tracks, but curiously none at all of weasel.
▪ Long bodies and short legs are reminders of their close relationship to weasels and polecats.
▪ Methinks it is like a weasel.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Weasel \Wea"sel\, n. [OE. wesele, AS. wesle; akin to D. wezel, G. wiesel, OHG. wisala, Icel. hreyiv[=i]sla, Dan. v["a]sel, Sw. vessla; of uncertain origin; cf. Gr. ?, ?, cat, weasel.] (Zo["o]l.) Any one of various species of small carnivores belonging to the genus Putorius, as the ermine and ferret. They have a slender, elongated body, and are noted for the quickness of their movements and for their bloodthirsty habit in destroying poultry, rats, etc. The ermine and some other species are brown in summer, and turn white in winter; others are brown at all seasons.

Malacca weasel, the rasse.

Weasel coot, a female or young male of the smew; -- so called from the resemblance of the head to that of a weasel. Called also weasel duck.

Weasel lemur, a short-tailed lemur ( Lepilemur mustelinus). It is reddish brown above, grayish brown below, with the throat white.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English weosule, wesle "weasel," from Proto-Germanic *wisulon (cognates: Old Norse visla, Middle Dutch wesel, Dutch wezel, Old High German wisula, German Wiesel), probably related to Proto-Germanic *wisand- "bison" (see bison), with a base sense of "stinking animal," because both animals have a foul, musky smell (compare Latin vissio "stench"). A John Wesilheued ("John Weaselhead") turns up on the Lincolnshire Assize Rolls for 1384, but the name seems not to have endured, for some reason. Related: Weaselly.


"to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning," 1900, from weasel (n.); so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact. Both this and weasel-word are first attested in "The Stained-Glass Political Platform," a short story by Stewart Chaplin, first printed in "Century Magazine," June 1900:\n\n"Why, weasel words are words that suck all the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell. If you heft the egg afterward it's as light as a feather, and not very filling when you're hungry; but a basketful of them would make quite a show, and would bamboozle the unwary."\n\nThey were picked up at once in American political slang. The sense of "extricate oneself (from a difficult place) like a weasel" is first recorded 1925; that of "to evade and equivocate" is from 1956. Related: Weasled; weasling.


n. 1 The least weasel, ''Mustela nivalis''. 2 Any of the carnivorous mammals of the genus ''Mustela'', having a slender body, a long tail and usually a light brown upper coat and light-coloured belly. 3 The taxonomic family Mustelidae is also called the '''weasel''' family. 4 A devious or sneaky person or animal. 5 A type of yarn winder used for counting the yardage of handspun yarn. It most commonly has a wooden peg or dowel that pops up from the gearing mechanism after a certain number of yards have been wound onto the winder. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To achieve by clever or devious means. 2 (context transitive or reflexive English) To gain something for oneself by clever or devious means. 3 (context intransitive English) To engage in clever or devious behavior.


n. small carnivorous mammal with short legs and elongated body and neck


A weasel is a mammal of the genusMustela of the family Mustelidae. The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets, and minks. Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs. The family Mustelidae (which also includes badgers, otters, and wolverines) is often referred to as the "weasel family". In the UK, the term "weasel" usually refers to the smallest species Mustela nivalis.

Weasels vary in length from , females being smaller than the males, and usually have red or brown upper coats and white bellies; some populations of some species moult to a wholly white coat in winter. They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows. Their tails may be from long.

Weasels feed on small mammals, and have from time to time been considered vermin, since some species took poultry from farms, or rabbits from commercial warrens. They do on the other hand eat large numbers of rodents. They can be found all across the world except for Antarctica, Australia, and neighbouring islands.

Weasel (disambiguation)

A weasel is a small carnivorous mammal.

Weasel may also refer to:

Weasel (Marvel Comics)

Weasel (Jack Hammer) is a fictional character who appears in the comic books published by Marvel Comics. Weasel is a friend, sidekick, information broker and arms dealer for Deadpool. Weasel is perhaps Deadpool's best friend. However, because of his frequent mood swings and tenuous mental state, Deadpool still often abuses or mistreats him. Weasel has also displayed an opportunistic streak against his friend's interests on occasions.

Actor T.J. Miller portrays Weasel in the 2016 feature film Deadpool.

Weasel (DC Comics)

Weasel is the name of 2 DC Comics supervillains.

Weasel (comics)

Weasel, in comics may refer to:

  • Weasel (Marvel Comics)
  • Weasel (DC Comics), the name of two DC Comics supervillains
  • Weasel, comic book series by Dave Cooper

Usage examples of "weasel".

Eight Trigrams and the Nine Palaces and the Central Palace Thunder, O Great Lord Tiger who enters houses and carries out great massacres, O Tiger who lies in wait beside the road and behind the well, O Tiger who lurks behind the stove and in the hall, O Tiger who stands beside the bed and behind the door of each dwelling, O Tiger who must enter into all fates, O White Tiger, Great White Tiger, your humble servant the Weasel has grossly insulted you, and we bring you his food!

But suddenly as he peered down and down into its depths, he profoundly saw a white living spot no bigger than a white weasel, with wonderful celerity uprising, and magnifying as it rose, till it turned, and then there were plainly revealed two long crooked rows of white, glistening teeth, floating up from the undiscoverable bottom.

Anyone can see that Skanderbeg is the chiefest wizard with or without his book of spells, and Warth here is trying to weasel himself into Trondheim.

He freed one hand from the wall and weaseled it into the thread glove clipped to a carabinier sling, then began rhythmically swinging the grapnel back and forth.

Not the coming of the grays, not the byrus or the weasels, but four boys who had been hoping to see a picture of the Homecoming Queen with her skirt pulled up, no more than that.

Weasels, squirrels, polecats, porcupines, and other small animals exist in numbers, and the mermaid, of the genus Halicore, connects the inhabitants of the land and water.

I called Legate Kawaguchi to see how the constables were doing at Chocolate Weasel.

Chocolate Weasel took all the punishment it had urned from the carpet, Kawaguchi blew a long, shrill blast on a whistle.

Yelma Scarpe, the Weasel chief, had brought the torching upon herself.

Lean men, dressed in the black leatherwork and weasel pelts of Scarpe, watching her as if they had something to fear.

The southern third of Sanimon itself was now a Wickan strongpoint, with warriors and archers of the Foolish Dog and Weasel clans.

The bearlike weasel was about three feet long from its nose to the tip of its bushy tail, with coarse, long, blackish brown fur.

The large carnivores played host with their leavings to a great variety of secondary carnivores and scavengers, both four-legged and flying: foxes, hyenas, brown bears, civets, small steppe cats, wolverines, weasels, ravens, kites, hawks, and many more.

Wolves were among the gentlest of meat eaters, and very predictable, if you paid attention to their signals -- weasels were far more bloodthirsty and bears more unpredictable.

Then they all turn into windmills: the monks, the knights, nuns, couriers and lansquenets, the Prussian grenadiers and Natzmer uhlans, the Merovingians and Carolingians, and in between, popping like weasels, our midgets.