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[dawr-mous] /ˈdɔrˌmaʊs/
noun, plural dormice
[dawr-mahys] /ˈdɔrˌmaɪs/ (Show IPA)
any small, furry-tailed, Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, resembling small squirrels in appearance and habits.
late Middle English
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for dormouse
  • In the original text, the dormouse is forever falling asleep.
British Dictionary definitions for dormouse


noun (pl) -mice
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
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Word Origin and History for dormouse
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 "sleeper" is only attested from 17c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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