Definition of mouse in English:

mouse

Line breaks: mouse
Pronunciation: /maʊs
 
/

noun (plural mice /mʌɪs/)

  • 1A small rodent that typically has a pointed snout, relatively large ears and eyes, and a long tail.
    • Family Muridae: many genera and numerous species. Also, some species in the families Heteromyidae, Zapodidae, and Muscardinidae
    More example sentences
    • Experiments revealed the same cells that have also been discovered in rats, gophers, gerbils, mice, and hamsters.
    • He says that, unlike rats and mice, the rodents give birth to only one offspring at a time, so a precautionary approach should be taken toward their conservation.
    • They play a very important role in controlling the populations of destructive rodents such as mice and rats, their preferred and primary food items.
  • 1.1(In general use) any small mammal similar to a mouse, such as a shrew or vole.
  • 1.2A shy, timid, and quiet person: Jane may be a bit of a mouse, but she is very nosy
    More example sentences
    • The Warren brothers snickered, amused by the sight of their strict teacher suddenly turned into a timid mouse.
    • It was Emma, the quiet mouse from the lunch table who, lately, had been looking slimmer and more awake than usual.
    • If you are a quiet mouse you can never become a social butterfly.
  • 1.3 [mass noun] A dull light brown colour reminiscent of a mouse’s fur: her flaxen hair dulled to mouse
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    • The red accented her usually dull brown eyes and contrasted nicely with her normally mouse-brown hair, also bringing out natural blush in her cheeks.
    • As if on cue, a girl with shoulder-length mouse brown hair walked right by him, those ever-cautious eyes lost in some daydream.
    • The teacher came in, a somewhat large, dimple-faced woman with mouse brown hair tied in a neat bun and sharp glasses perched on the tip of her nose.
  • 2 (plural mice or mouses) A small handheld device which is moved across a mat or flat surface to move the cursor on a computer screen: copy the file with a click of the mouse [as modifier]: the right mouse button
    More example sentences
    • I blinked and moved the mouse around the computer screen, clicking on the Internet icon.
    • That's right - there was no need to reach for cursor keys, function keys or a mouse to move the cursor or execute a command.
    • Most people use a computer by moving a mouse, which directs a cursor around on the machine's screen.
  • 3 informal A lump or bruise on or near the eye: she touched the mouse under her eye

verb

Pronunciation: /also maʊz
 
/
[no object] Back to top  
  • 1(Of a cat or owl) hunt for or catch mice: female cats are usually much better at mousing than males
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    • I'm not sure what the cats will make of them - that field is Faber's main area for mousing and Sorley seems to go in there quite a bit too.
  • 2 [with adverbial of direction] Use a mouse to move or position a cursor on a computer screen: simply mouse over any item on the list
    More example sentences
    • Many navigation schemes use cascading menus: The top or side of the page lists choices that, when moused over or clicked on, open successive levels of submenus.
    • Clicking on or mousing over a category reveals the links it contains.
    • To be honest, I think it had more to do with mousing around my screen than dragging myself up and down a swimming pool, but either way it's probably just as well I never made it back there this evening.

Derivatives

mouse-like

adjective
More example sentences
  • The flowers do not bloom until nightfall, when they emit a mouse-like odour, and bats visit them for nectar and pollen.
  • This mouse-like animal flies at night and sleeps in the day by hanging from the branches of trees.
  • Participants were asked to move a computer mouse-like device (hereafter called stylus) from different starting positions shown on the computer screen, and to immobilize it on a target also shown on the computer screen.

Origin

Old English mūs, (plural) mȳs, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch muis and German Maus, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin and Greek mus.

Usage

Is the plural of mouse in the computing sense mice or mouses? People often feel that this sense needs its own distinctive plural, but in fact the ordinary plural mice is commoner, and the first recorded use of the term in the plural (1984) is mice.

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