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dormouse

[dawr-mous] /ˈdɔrˌmaʊs/
noun, plural dormice
[dawr-mahys] /ˈdɔrˌmaɪs/ (Show IPA)
1.
any small, furry-tailed, Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, resembling small squirrels in appearance and habits.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English dormowse, dormoise; etymology obscure; perhaps AF derivative of Old French dormir to sleep (see dormant), with final syllable reanalyzed as mouse, but no such AF word is known
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dormice

dormouse

/ˈdɔːˌmaʊs/
noun (pl) -mice
1.
any small Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, esp the Eurasian Muscardinus avellanarius, resembling a mouse with a furry tail
Word Origin
C15: dor-, perhaps from Old French dormir to sleep, from Latin dormīre + mouse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dormice

dormouse

n.

early 15c., possibly from Anglo-French *dormouse "tending to be dormant" (from stem of dormir "to sleep," see dormer), with the second element mistaken for mouse; or perhaps it is from a Middle English dialectal compound of mouse and Middle French dormir. The rodent is inactive in winter. French dormeuse, fem. of dormeur "sleeper" is attested only from 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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