from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous small rodents of the families Muridae and Cricetidae, such as the house mouse, characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail.
  • noun Any of various similar or related animals, such as the jumping mouse, the vole, or the jerboa.
  • noun A cowardly or timid person.
  • noun Informal A discolored swelling under the eye caused by a blow; a black eye.
  • noun Computers A handheld, button-activated input device that when rolled along a flat surface directs an indicator to move correspondingly about a computer screen, allowing the operator to move the indicator freely, as to select operations or manipulate text or graphics.
  • intransitive verb To hunt mice.
  • intransitive verb To search furtively for something; prowl.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A device used in underground pipe-conduits to get cables into the tubes after the latter have been laid.
  • noun Any one of several small marsupials of the genus Phascogale, so called from their strong resemblance to a mouse or rat.
  • To hunt for or catch mice.
  • To watch or pursue something in a sly or insidious manner.
  • To move about softly or cautiously, like a cat hunting mice; prowl.
  • To tear as a cat tears a mouse.
  • To hunt out, as a cat hunts out mice.
  • Nautical, to pass a few turns of a small line round the point and shank of (a hook), to keep it from unhooking.
  • noun A small rodent quadruped, Mus musculus, of the family Muridœ: a name extended to very many of the smaller species of the same family, the larger ones being usually called rats.
  • noun Some animal like or likened to a mouse, as a shrew or bat. See shrcw-mouse.
  • noun A moth of the family Amphipyridœ.
  • noun Some little bird: used in composition: as, sea-mouse and sand-mouse, the dunlin or purre, Tringa alpina, a sandpiper.
  • noun A familiar term of endearment.
  • noun Nautical:
  • noun (a ) A knob formed on a rope by spunyarn or parceling, to prevent a running eye from slipping.
  • noun Two or three turns of spunyarn or rope-yarn about the point and shank of a hook, to keep it from unhooking. Also called mousing.
  • noun A particular piece of beef or mutton below the round; the part immediately above the knee-joint. Also called mouse-piece and mouse-buttock.
  • noun A match used in blasting.
  • noun A swelling caused by a blow; a black eye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Mus and various related genera of the family Muridæ. The common house mouse (Mus musculus) is found in nearly all countries. The American white-footed mouse, or deer mouse (Peromyscus leucopus, formerly Hesperomys leucopus) sometimes lives in houses. See dormouse, Meadow mouse, under meadow, and Harvest mouse, under harvest.
  • noun A knob made on a rope with spun yarn or parceling to prevent a running eye from slipping.
  • noun Same as 2d Mousing, 2.
  • noun A familiar term of endearment.
  • noun Slang A dark-colored swelling caused by a blow.
  • noun A match used in firing guns or blasting.
  • noun See under Field, Flying, etc.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a coly.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a chevrotain, as the kanchil.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a very small West American galago (Galago murinus). In color and size it resembles a mouse. It has a bushy tail like that of a squirrel.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The hawk owl; -- called also mouse owl.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of very small lemurs of the genus Chirogaleus, found in Madagascar.
  • noun (Cookery) the piece of beef cut from the part next below the round or from the lower part of the latter; -- called also mouse buttock.
  • intransitive verb To watch for and catch mice.
  • intransitive verb To watch for or pursue anything in a sly manner; to pry about, on the lookout for something.
  • transitive verb obsolete To tear, as a cat devours a mouse.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) To furnish with a mouse; to secure by means of a mousing. See Mouse, n., 2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any small rodent of the genus Mus.
  • noun informal A member of the many small rodent and marsupial species resembling such a rodent.
  • noun A quiet or shy person.
  • noun computing (plural mice or, rarely, mouses) An input device that is moved over a pad or other flat surface to produce a corresponding movement of a pointer on a graphical display.


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

[Middle English mous, from Old English mūs; see mūs- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mous, from Old English mūs, from Proto-Germanic *mūs, from Proto-Indo-European *muh₂s.


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  • Plural in the sense of computer peripheral is what? Usually mouses to my ear; though I prefer mice.

    October 2, 2008

  • Entertainment industry slang for the Walt Disney Company.

    August 26, 2009

  • 1870: "so much hair of her own, that she never patronized either rats, mice, waterfalls, switches or puff combs", An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, Chapter XI. Needles and Tongues

    April 16, 2018