Definition of weasel in English:

weasel

Line breaks: weasel
Pronunciation: /ˈwiːz(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • 1A small, slender carnivorous mammal related to, but smaller than, the stoat.
    • Genus Mustela, family Mustelidae (the weasel family): several species, in particular M. nivalis of northern Eurasia and northern North America. The family also includes the polecats, minks, martens, skunks, wolverine, otters, and badgers
    More example sentences
    • A cousin of mink, martens, otters, stoats, weasels and distantly related to seals, badgers are one of our oldest indigenous animals, whose fossil remains have been found to belong to the same era as mammoths.
    • Mammals such as weasels, foxes, stoats and especially roe deer can wander safely without the risk of being killed by traffic.
    • Mammalian carnivores such as weasels and foxes catch voles by chasing or pouncing and are probably just as dangerous in dense cover as in sparse.
  • 1.1 Irish term for stoat.

verb (weasels, weaselling, weaselled; US weasels, weaseling, weaseled)

[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Achieve something by use of cunning or deceit: she suspects me of trying to weasel my way into his affections
    More example sentences
    • Tell him to weasel his way into the affections of as many receptionists, secretaries and PAs as is humanly possible, since they always know how things work, and he may find that he has been trying to get hold of the wrong person.
    • Except that when that happens, I conveniently find some bogus excuse or lame technicality to avoid paying your damages or to weasel my way into only paying part of them.
    • I then tried to weasel my way into the audience's affection, assuring punters that if they laughed at all my gags everyone would get their money back on the way out.
  • 1.1chiefly North American Behave or talk evasively: we needed him to take a firm stand, but he weaselled

Phrases

weasel words

Words or statements that are intentionally ambiguous or misleading.
More example sentences
  • On this there can be no room for equivocation, weasel words or fudge.
  • I'm not sure that most of these words and expressions are weasel words, though.
  • And anyone reading the weasel words of doubt that are insinuated throughout this text can only have profound concern about the basis for which the country is to go to war.

Derivatives

weaselly

adjective
More example sentences
  • Choose between the weaselly compromises most of us try in an attempt to be healthier and a radically pure approach that will have you forking out enormous sums of money on food supplements.
  • I suppose this reflects what she really thinks, as opposed to the similar but more weaselly language crafted by lawyers for the law school's website.
  • You know, Kyra, sometimes I worry that I give weaselly answers.

Origin

Old English wesle, wesule, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch wezel and German Wiesel.

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