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or varment

[vahr-muh nt] /ˈvɑr mənt/
Chiefly Southern and South Midland U.S.
  1. vermin.
  2. an objectionable or undesirable animal, usually predatory, as a coyote or bobcat.
a despicable, obnoxious, or annoying person.
Origin of varmint
1530-40; variant of vermin (with regular outcome of Middle Englishĕr before consonant (cf. argal3, parson) and parasitic t) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for varmint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "The varmint has run tu the nearest hole he could find," he said with a smile.

    Buckskin Mose Buckskin Mose
  • I begun to fear that the varmint had a cave, and so, cuss him!

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • These were the trophies of the professional "varmint killer," a man hired by the month.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • "The varmint shall be speedily unearthed," said Wilder, rushing to the spot.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • A skunk's a varmint that don't stink tell ye meddle with him, but Hank Halliday stinks all the time.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • I'd just like to look along the barrels of my gun at the varmint, as Jim calls him.

  • He has heard the plot of those thieving, varmint red-skins through his wife, or some friend or other.

    Dick Onslow W.H.G. Kingston
  • I object, if you're meaning to tackle the varmint alone and single-handed, Phil!

  • I'm goin' to stop this business if I've got to kill every thievin' varmint in the Army o' the Cumberland.

British Dictionary definitions for varmint


(informal) an irritating or obnoxious person or animal
Word Origin
C16: dialect variant of varminvermin
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 varmint

1530s, chiefly American English dialectal variant of vermin. Meaning "objectionable or troublesome person" is recorded from 1773.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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