a domesticated polecat (Mustela putorius furo), typically albino or brown in coloration.
(of a person) hunt with ferrets, typically for rabbits.
look around in a place or container in search of something:
he went to the desk and ferreted around.
∎ [tr.] (ferret something out)
search tenaciously for and find something:
ferret out the facts.
Semi-domesticated albino form of polecat
-like animals, ferrets have long necks, slender bodies, and long tails. They are agile killers. Body length: 36cm (14in); weight: 700g (1.5lb). Family Mustelidae; species Mustela putorius.
half-tamed variety of pole-cat. XIV. — OF. fuiret
, (also mod.) furet
, by suffix-substitution from OF. fuiron
(:- Rom. *fūriōn-
), beside furon
:- late L. fūrō
thief, hence vb. XV.
†floss-silk XVI; stout tape XVII. prob. — It. fioretti
floss-silk, pl. of fioretto
, dim. of fiore