- 1A domesticated polecat used chiefly for catching rabbits. It is typically albino in coloration, but sometimes brown. See polecat-ferret.
More example sentences
- Mustela furo, family Mustelidae; descended mainly from the European polecat
- Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.
- Europeans arrived in the early 1800s, bringing with them mustelids (stoats, ferrets, and weasels), cats, and two more species of rats.
- While most of us are all too willing to cuddle guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, pet mice and even ferrets, brown rats produce a reaction of almost universal revulsion.
- 2An assiduous search for something: he had a quick ferret aroundMore example sentences
- Sam and myself were keen to have a ferret around in Pippikin via Mistral, but Alan was all psyched up to do his first trip down Lancaster Hole.
- Finding the place almost deserted I had resigned myself to having a ferret around Lancaster Hole on my own, until I bumped into Ray.
verb (ferrets, ferreting, ferreted)Back to top
- 1 [no object] (Of a person) hunt with ferrets, typically for rabbits: (as noun ferreting) ferreting is increasing in popularityMore example sentences
- Their excuse, said Mr Evans, was that they were visiting Cumbria for rabbiting and ferreting - an implausible explanation at a time when people were not allowed on to farmland because of the foot-and-mouth epidemic.
- James has kindly offered to induct me into the wiles and ways of the shooting gent, starting with an invitation to go ferreting for rabbits.
- 1.1 [with object] Clear (a hole or area of ground) of rabbits with ferrets.More example sentences
- I just ferreted this hole as I wanted to find out where all the bolt holes were before I gassed it, and as I had the nets in my pocket I thought ...why not!
- We ferreted several warrens, and thus several breeding groups, in each capture area.
- 2 [no object] Rummage about in a place or container in search of something: he shambled over to the desk and ferreted aroundMore example sentences
rummage, search about, scrabble around, feel around, grope around, forage around, fish about/around, poke about/around, scratch about/around, delve, dig, hunt; search through, hunt through, rifle through, sift through, go through, scour, ransack, exploreBritish • informal rootle aroundAustralian/New Zealand • informal fossick through• rare roust around
- I looked down at the little ashtray on his gold coloured hostess trolley, two lonely pound coins looked back up at me, so i ferreted around in my pocket for something smaller.
- But one night, a woolly-hatted youth ferreted around in the skip and extracted the ancient rucksack.
- Katherine and Kyla ferreted around the racks looking for good clothes.
- 2.1 [with object] (ferret something out) Discover information by means of an assiduous search or investigation: she had the ability to ferret out the factsMore example sentences
- Even if you don't like the story, you have to respect his sheer investigative skill in ferreting it out.
- But Sid wasn't really the type that offered up information easily, preferring to have his barmates ferret it out of him.
- If there's a story that has any connection with the Super Bowl, it will be ferreted out by 3,000 newspaper, radio and TV people.
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- When the ferreter slips his charge into the warren and watches it slide into the darkness, his face is full of a tender anxiety and an eager prayer for success.
- Any ferreter will tell you about the rabbits that have slipped through nets or used undiscovered bolt holes.
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- The main purveyor is the ferrety Draco Malfoy, who brings a particularly Aryan look to his baleful glare and assorted discriminations.
- Taylor plays him with ferrety frowns and twitchy fingers.
- The weaselish ferrety damage coincides all too well with Sporkenbobble's plans.
late Middle English: from Old French fuiret, alteration of fuiron, based on late Latin furo 'thief, ferret', from Latin fur 'thief'.