any small, furry-tailed, Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, resembling small squirrels in appearance and habits.
Origin: 1400–50;late Middle Englishdormowse, dormoise; etymology obscure; perhaps AF derivative of Old Frenchdormir to sleep (see dormant), with final syllable reanalyzed as mouse, but no such AF word is known
c.1425, possibly from Anglo-Fr. *dormouse "tending to be dormant" (from stem of dormir "to sleep," see dormer), with the second element mistaken for mouse, or from a M.E. dial. compound of mouse and M.Fr. dormir. The rodent is inactive in winter. Fr. dormeuse, fem. of dormeur