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1. A domesticated mustelid mammal (Mustela furo syn. Mustela putorius subsp. furo) with an elongated flexible body, often kept as a pet and sometimes trained to hunt rats or rabbits.
2. A black-footed ferret.
v. fer·ret·ed, fer·ret·ing, fer·rets
a. To hunt (rabbits, for example) with ferrets.
b. To drive out, as from a hiding place; expel.
2. To uncover and bring to light by searching. Often used with out: "Their work merely points the way for others to ferret out the core components of all proteins" (Natalie Angier).
3. To hound or harry persistently; worry.
1. To engage in hunting with ferrets.
2. To search intensively.
[Middle English furet, ferret, from Old French furet, from Vulgar Latin *fūrittus, diminutive of Latin fūr, thief; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]
fer·ret 2(fĕr′ĭt) also fer·ret·ing (-ĭ-tĭng)
A narrow piece of tape used to bind or edge fabric.
[Probably alteration of Italian fioretti, floss silk, pl. of fioretto, diminutive of fiore, flower, from Latin flōs, flōr-, flower; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.