follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

squirrel

[skwur-uh l, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-uh l] /ˈskwɜr əl, ˈskwʌr- or, esp. British, ˈskwɪr əl/
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
1325-1375
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
Related forms
squirrelish, squirrellike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for squirrelish

squirrel

/ˈskwɪrəl; US ˈskwɜːrəl; ˈskwʌr-/
noun (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, etc related adjective 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
verb -rels, -relling, -relled especially (US) -rels, -reling, -reled
5.
(informal) (transitive) usually foll by away. to store for future use; hoard
Derived Forms
squirrel-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French esquireul, from Late Latin sciūrus, from Greek skiouros, from skia shadow + oura tail
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for squirrelish

squirrel

n.

early 14c., from Anglo-French esquirel, Old French escurel (Modern French écureuil), from Vulgar Latin *scuriolus, diminutive of *scurius "squirrel," variant of Latin sciurus, from Greek skiouros "a squirrel," literally "shadow-tailed," from skia "shadow" (see shine (v.)) + oura "tail." Perhaps the original notion is "that which makes a shade with its tail." The Old English word was acweorna, which survived into Middle English as aquerne.

v.

"to hoard up, store away" (as a squirrel does nuts), 1939, from squirrel (n.). Related: Squirreled; squirreling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for squirrelish

squinch

verb

To distort the face; squint: The eyes are squinched with innocence and glint (1840+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for squirrel

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for squirrelish

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for squirrelish