American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A white or light gray fur used as a trim on medieval robes and on ceremonial robes of state.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A mixed or spotted fur once commonly used for lining or trimming garments. According to Cotgrave, it was “the fur of ermins mixed or spotted with the fur of the weesel called gris”; but according to Planché, miniver was the white part only of the patchwork designs of different furs in use at certain epochs during the middle ages, as is seen in the heraldic furs, which retain the designs most commonly used at that time.
- n. In heraldry, a fur like vair, with the peculiarity that the escutcheon-miniver contains six or more horizontal rows of spots.
- n. The Siberian squirrel, which has fine white fur; also, the fur itself.
- n. A light gray or white fur used to trim the robes of judges or state executives, also used in medieval times.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A fur esteemed in the Middle Ages as a part of costume. It is uncertain whether it was the fur of one animal only or of different animals.
- n. trimming on ceremonial robes consisting of white or light grey fur
- from Old French menu vair ("squirrel, squirrel fur"), from menu ("small") + vair ("a type of fur") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English meniver, from Old French menu vair, small vair : menu, small; see minuet + vair, vair; see vair. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Royal Princesses and the Royal Knights of the Garter swept by in prodigious robes and trains of purple velvet, thirty shillings a yard, my dear, not of course including the lining, which, I have no doubt, was of the richest satin, or that costly "miniver" which we used to read about in poor Jerrold's writings.”
“She had a short cape in her hands, white velvet banded with miniver.”
“Vair, variegated fur, from the Latin varius, varied, also is a root of miniver, originally menu vair, small vair, which referred initially to the fur — perhaps squirrel — used as trim on medieval robes and later was applied to the prized ermine, or winter weasel fur, on the ceremonial robes of peers.”
“Sinjáb is Persian for the skin of the grey squirrel (Mu. lemmus, the lemming), the meniver, erroneously miniver, (menu vair) as opposed to the ermine = (Mus Armenius, or mustela erminia.)”
“Garter swept by in prodigious robes and trains of purple velvet, thirty shillings a yard, my dear, not of course including the lining, which, I have no doubt, was of the richest satin, or that costly “miniver” which we used to read about in poor”
“He wore soft leather sock boots, turned down at the knees to reveal a lining of the finest miniver.”
“Between Prince and wizard, Leynart said nothing, only clutched his precious spell-box to his chest and huddled deeper in this miniver cloak like a cold lapdog on a pillow.”
“And to preside over them sat not their Prior, but Ferrante Gonzaga himself, in a gown of scarlet velvet edged with miniver.”
“Her high-waisted gown, low-cut and close-fitting in the bodice, was of cloth of gold, edged with miniver at skirt and cuffs and neck.”
“So instead of the crepe de Chine and miniver, which had been used for the black dress, I had for the white dress Bolton sheeting and rabbit, and I believe it looked better.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘miniver’.
"Luciferous Logolepsy is a collection of over 9,000 obscure English words. Though the definition of an 'English' word might seem to be straightforward, it is not. There exist so many adopted, deriv...
All squirrels, all the time.
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Words and phrases used in blazoning heraldic devices, along with names and other terms associated with the art and science.
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Looking for tweets for miniver.