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weasel

[wee-zuh l] /ˈwi zəl/
noun, plural weasels (especially collectively) weasel.
1.
any small carnivore of the genus Mustela, of the family Mustelidae, having a long, slender body and feeding chiefly on small rodents.
2.
any of various similar animals of the family Mustelidae.
3.
a cunning, sneaky person.
4.
a tracked vehicle resembling a tractor, used in snow.
5.
Slang. an informer; stool pigeon.
verb (used without object)
6.
to evade an obligation, duty, or the like; renege (often followed by out):
That's one invitation I'd like to weasel out of.
7.
to use weasel words; be ambiguous; mislead:
Upon cross-examination the witness began to weasel.
8.
Slang. to inform.
Origin
900
before 900; 1920-25 for def 6; Middle English wesele, Old English wesle, weosule; cognate with Old High German wisula, German Wiesel
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for weaseling

weasel

/ˈwiːzəl/
noun (pl) -sels, -sel
1.
any of various small predatory musteline mammals of the genus Mustela and related genera, esp M. nivalis (European weasel), having reddish-brown fur, an elongated body and neck, and short legs
2.
(informal) a sly or treacherous person
3.
(mainly US) a motor vehicle for use in snow, esp one with caterpillar tracks
Derived Forms
weaselly, adjective
Word Origin
Old English weosule, wesle; related to Old Norse visla, Old High German wisula, Middle Dutch wesel
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 weaseling

weasel

n.

Old English weosule, wesle "weasel," from Proto-Germanic *wisulon (cf. Old Norse visla, Middle Dutch wesel, Dutch wezel, Old High German wisula, German Wiesel), probably related to Proto-Germanic *wisand- "bison" (see bison), with a base sense of "stinking animal," because both animals have a foul, musky smell (cf. Latin vissio "stench"). A John Wesilheued ("John Weaselhead") turns up on the Lincolnshire Assize Rolls for 1384, but the name seems not to have endured, for some reason.

v.

"to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning," 1900, from weasel (n.); so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact; the sense of "extricate oneself (from a difficult place) like a weasel" is first recorded 1925; that of "to evade and equivocate" is from 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for weaseling

wear the pants

verb phrase

To be the dominant one in a marriage, household, etc •Nearly always said of a woman

[1931+; wear the breeches can be traced to the 1400s in a French version (braies) and to the 1500s in English]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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weaseling in the Bible

(Heb. holedh), enumerated among unclean animals (Lev. 11:29). Some think that this Hebrew word rather denotes the mole (Spalax typhlus) common in Palestine. There is no sufficient reason, however, to depart from the usual translation. The weasel tribe are common also in Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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