ermine

\ \ [12] The term ermine was introduced to English from Old French as a name for the ‘stoat’, but as in the case of other words of French origin like mutton and pork which soon came to be used for the dead animals’ product rather than the live animals themselves, it was not long (about a hundred years in fact) before ermine was being applied to the stoat’s fur, and specifically to its white winter fur. The source of the French word is not entirely clear. One school of thought derives it from medieval Latin mūs ArmeniusArmenian mouse’, on the assumption that this denoted a ‘stoat’ or ‘weasel’, but an alternative possibility is Germanic origin.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:
(Mustela erminea) / / / , (white ground spotted with black)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ermine — Er mine, n. [OF. ermine, F. hermine, prob. of German origin; cf. OHG. harmo, G. hermelin, akin to Lith. szarm?, szarmonys, weasel, cf. AS. hearma; but cf. also LL. armelinus, armellina, hermellina, and pellis Armenia, the fur of the Armenian rat …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ermine — [ʉr′min] n. pl. ermines or ermine [ME & OFr ermin; OFr ermine, hermine, prob. < MHG hermin, erminelike < harme, ermine < OHG harmo, weasel (OE hearma): infl. by folk etym. assoc. with L ( mus) Armenius, Armenian (mouse)] 1. any of… …   English World dictionary

  • ermine — late 12c., from O.Fr. ermine (12c., Mod.Fr. hermine), both the animal and the fur, apparently from a convergence of L. (mus) Armenius Armenian (mouse), ermines being abundant in Asia Minor; and an unrelated Germanic word for weasel (Cf. O.H.G.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ermine — A dress fabric made of brown dyed woollen yarns in the 17th and 18th centuries. ERMINE The fur of the ermine which is white with a black tail tip. When prepared for ornamental purposes the black tail tips are attached at regular intervals on the… …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • Ermine — Er mine, v. t. To clothe with, or as with, ermine. [1913 Webster] The snows that have ermined it in the winter. Lowell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ermine — f English: in origin perhaps a variant of HERMINE (SEE Hermine), but strongly influenced in popularity by association with the name of the fur (Old French ermine, medieval Latin armēnius (mūs) Armenian mouse) …   First names dictionary

  • ermine — Ermine, Mus ponticus. Vide Harmol. Corol …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • ermine — ► NOUN (pl. same or ermines) 1) a stoat. 2) the white winter fur of the stoat, used for trimming the ceremonial robes of judges or peers. ORIGIN Old French hermine, probably from Latin mus Armenius Armenian mouse …   English terms dictionary

  • Ermine — Taxobox name = Ermine (or Stoat) status = LR/lc | status system = IUCN2.3 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Carnivora familia = Mustelidae subfamilia = Mustelinae genus = Mustela species = M. erminea binomial = Mustela …   Wikipedia

  • ermine — ermined, adj. /err min/, n., pl. ermines, (esp. collectively) ermine, adj. n. 1. an Old World weasel, Mustela erminea, having in its winter color phase a white coat with black at the tip of the tail. Cf. stoat. 2. any of various weasels having a… …   Universalium

  • ermine — /ˈɜmən / (say ermuhn) noun (plural ermines, ermine) 1. the white colour phase of Mustela erminea, a small carnivore of the weasel family found in Europe, Asia and North America; the brown colour phase is called the stoat. Compare stoat. 2. the… …   Australian English dictionary

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