squirrel

[skwur-uhl, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-uhl]
noun, plural squirrels (especially collectively) squirrel.
1.
any of numerous arboreal, bushy-tailed rodents of the genus Sciurus, of the family Sciuridae.
2.
any of various other members of the family Sciuridae, as the chipmunks, flying squirrels, and woodchucks.
3.
the meat of such an animal.
4.
the pelt or fur of such an animal: a coat trimmed with squirrel.
verb (used with object), squirreled, squirreling or (especially British) squirrelled, squirrelling.
5.
to store or hide (money, valuables, etc.), usually for the future (often followed by away ): I've squirreled away a few dollars for an emergency.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English squirel < Anglo-French escuirel (Old French escuireul) ≪ Vulgar Latin *scūrellus, *scūriolus, representing Latin sciurus (< Greek skíouros literally, shadow-tailed (ski(á) shadow + -ouros, adj. derivative of ourá tail); apparently so called because the tail was large enough to provide shade for the rest of the animal) with diminutive suffixes -ellus, -olus

squirrelish, squirrellike, adjective
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World English Dictionary
squirrel (ˈskwɪrəl, US ˈskwɜːrəl, ˈskwʌr-)
 
n , pl -rels, -rel
1.  any arboreal sciurine rodent of the genus Sciurus, such as S. vulgaris (red squirrel) or S. carolinensis (grey squirrel), having a bushy tail and feeding on nuts, seeds, etcRelated: sciurine
2.  any other rodent of the family Sciuridae, such as a ground squirrel or a marmot
3.  the fur of such an animal
4.  informal a person who hoards things
 
vb (usually foll by away) , -rels, -rel, -rels, -relling, -relled, -rels, -reling, -reled
5.  informal to store for future use; hoard
 
Related: sciurine
 
[C14: from Old French esquireul, from Late Latin sciūrus, from Greek skiouros, from skia shadow + oura tail]
 
'squirrel-like
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

squirrel
1327, from Anglo-Fr. esquirel, O.Fr. escurel (Fr. écureuil), from V.L. *scuriolus, dim. of *scurius "squirrel," variant of L. sciurus, from Gk. skiouros "a squirrel," lit. "shadow-tailed," from skia "shadow" + oura "tail." Perhaps the original notion is "that which makes a shade with its tail."
The verb meaning "to hoard up, store away" (as a aquirrel does nuts) is first recorded 1939; squirrely is from 1925. The O.E. word was acweorna, which survived into M.E. as aquerne.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee thence new nuts.
There had been an abundance of acorns and walnuts last year, which as you may
  know, is squirrel food.
Video stills show a ground squirrel chewing on a rattlesnake's shed skin and
  then licking its body to apply the masticated mush.
So researchers used an infrared camera to record squirrel rattlesnake
  encounters.
Images for Squirrel
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