Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small, squirrellike Old World rodents of the family Gliridae.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several species of small, mostly European rodents of the family Gliridae; also called Myoxidae or Muscardinidae by some taxonomists.
  • n. Muscardinus avellanarius, the hazel dormouse.
  • n. A person who sleeps a great deal, or who falls asleep readily (by analogy with the sound hibernation of the dormouse).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small European rodent of the genus Myoxus, of several species. They live in trees and feed on nuts, acorns, etc.; -- so called because they are usually torpid in winter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rodent of the family Myoxidæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small furry-tailed squirrel-like Old World rodent that becomes torpid in cold weather

Etymologies

Middle English, probably alteration (influenced by mous, mouse) of Anglo-Norman dormeus, inclined to sleep, hibernating, from Old French dormir, to sleep; see dormant.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English dormous, of uncertain origin. Possibly from dor-, from Old Norse dár ("benumbed") + mous ("mouse"). More at doze, mouse. Although the word has come to be associated as an Anglo-Norman derivative of Old French dormir ("to sleep"), no such Anglo-Norman word is known to have existed . (Wiktionary)

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