Definition of ermine in English:


Line breaks: er¦mine
Pronunciation: /ˈəːmɪn

noun (plural same or ermines)

1A stoat, especially when in its white winter coat.
More example sentences
  • Predators of erethizontids include mustelids such as martens, minks, wolverines, ermine, weasels, and fishers.
  • Vikka is quick to identify the tracks of wolverine, fox and ermine.
  • Arctic foxes, short-tailed weasels and ermines are some of the smaller carnivores found here.
1.1 [mass noun] The white fur of the stoat, used for trimming garments, especially the ceremonial robes of judges or peers: the men were dressed in costly ermine and sable-edged cloaks
More example sentences
  • In bygone days many stoats were slaughtered to provide skins for ermine robes.
  • On this throne sat a very distinguished-looking man dressed in a royal blue velvet robe trimmed with ermine over his tuxedo.
  • The robe is trimmed with ermine, which is the white winter coat of the stoat in northern regions of Europe.
1.2 [mass noun] Heraldry Fur represented as black spots on a white ground, as a heraldic tincture: [postpositive]: on a canton ermine a lion rampant sable
More example sentences
  • The coat of arms of the former duchy of Brittany is "Ermine", one of very few coats that are of one tincture only.
  • The coloring scheme of ermine can also be changed.
2 (also ermine moth) A stout-bodied moth that has cream or white wings with black spots.
  • Genus Spilosoma, family Arctiidae: several species
More example sentences
  • One teacher thought the caterpillars might belong to silk ermine moths, but we're not sure.
  • The buff ermine moth is so called because of its buff colouring.
  • The apple small ermine moth causes more or less serious defoliation at the tips of branches of apple trees.


Middle English: from Old French hermine, probably from medieval Latin (mus) Armenius 'Armenian (mouse)'.



More example sentences
  • And, in fairness to those ermined aristocrats, they could afford contempt.
  • If he has any brains at all, he'll make a speech this week telling these ermined layabouts to go climb a tree.
  • I do think, however that a ballot on the suitability of some newly ermined people would debar some before the ermine was purchased.

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