weasel

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wea·sel / ˈwēzəl/ • n. a small, slender, carnivorous mammal (genus Mustela), esp. M. nivalis of northern Eurasia and northern North America, related to, but generally smaller than, the stoat. The weasel family (Mustelidae) also includes the polecats, minks, martens, skunks, wolverine, otters, and badgers. ∎ fig., inf. a deceitful or treacherous person. • v. (weaseled, weaseling; Brit. weaselled , weaselling ) [intr.] achieve something by use of cunning or deceit: she suspects me of trying to weasel my way into his affections. ∎  behave or talk evasively. DERIVATIVES: wea·sel·ly adj.

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weaselbasil, bedazzle, dazzle, frazzle, razzle •damsel • razzle-dazzle • Basel •bezel, embezzle •Denzil •appraisal, hazel, nasal, phrasal •wych hazel •diesel, easel, teasel, weasel •chisel, drizzle, fizzle, frizzle, grizzle, mizzle, pizzle, sizzle, swizzle, twizzle •reprisal, revisal •nozzle, shemozzle •acausal, causal, clausal, menopausal, monocausal •arousal, carousal, espousal, spousal, tousle •disposal, proposal •accusal, bamboozle, foozle, ouzel, perusal, refusal •guzzle, muzzle, nuzzle, puzzle •mangel-wurzel

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weasel Any of several species of small, carnivorous, mostly terrestrial mammals of Eurasia, n Africa, and North and South America. Most species have small heads, long necks, slender bodies, and long tails. Reddish-brown with light coloured underparts, some species turn completely white in winter. Weasels are fierce predators, eating eggs and rodents. Length: 50cm (20in) overall. Family Mustelidae; Genus Mustela.

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weasel the weasel as a small and agile carnivore is taken as a type of cunning; a deceitful or treacherous person.
weasel words words or statements that are intentionally ambiguous or misleading; the expression was popularized by the American Republican statesman Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) in a speech of May 1915.

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weasel OE. we(o)sule, wesle = MLG. wesel, wezel, OHG. wisula (G. wiesel):- WGmc. *wisulōn, of unkn. orig.

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weasel (Mustela) See MUSTELIDAE.

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