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

  • n. Any of numerous small rodents of the families Muridae and Cricetidae, such as the common house mouse (Mus musculus), characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail.
  • n. Any of various similar or related animals, such as the jumping mouse, the vole, or the jerboa.
  • n. A cowardly or timid person.
  • n. Informal A discolored swelling under the eye caused by a blow; a black eye.
  • n. Computer Science A hand-held, 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 v. To hunt mice.
  • intransitive v. To search furtively for something; prowl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any small rodent of the genus Mus.
  • n. A member of the many small rodent and marsupial species resembling such a rodent.
  • n. A quiet or shy person.
  • n. (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.
  • n. Hematoma.
  • n. A turn or lashing of spun yarn or small stuff, or a metallic clasp or fastening, uniting the point and shank of a hook to prevent its unhooking or straighening out.
  • v. To move cautiously or furtively, in the manner of a mouse (the rodent) (frequently used in the phrasal verb to mouse around).
  • v. To hunt or catch mice (the rodents), usually of cats.
  • v. To close the mouth of a hook by a careful binding of marline or wire.
  • v. To navigate by means of a computer mouse.
  • v. To tear, as a cat devours a mouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n.
  • n. A knob made on a rope with spun yarn or parceling to prevent a running eye from slipping.
  • n. Same as 2d Mousing, 2.
  • n. A familiar term of endearment.
  • n. A dark-colored swelling caused by a blow.
  • n. A match used in firing guns or blasting.
  • intransitive v. To watch for and catch mice.
  • intransitive v. To watch for or pursue anything in a sly manner; to pry about, on the lookout for something.
  • transitive v. To tear, as a cat devours a mouse.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a mouse; to secure by means of a mousing. See Mouse, n., 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Some animal like or likened to a mouse, as a shrew or bat. See shrcw-mouse.
  • n. A moth of the family Amphipyridœ.
  • n. Some little bird: used in composition: as, sea-mouse and sand-mouse, the dunlin or purre, Tringa alpina, a sandpiper.
  • n. A familiar term of endearment.
  • n. Nautical:
  • n. (a ) A knob formed on a rope by spunyarn or parceling, to prevent a running eye from slipping.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A particular piece of beef or mutton below the round; the part immediately above the knee-joint. Also called mouse-piece and mouse-buttock.
  • n. A match used in blasting.
  • n. A swelling caused by a blow; a black eye.
  • n. A device used in underground pipe-conduits to get cables into the tubes after the latter have been laid.
  • n. Any one of several small marsupials of the genus Phascogale, so called from their strong resemblance to a mouse or rat.

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

  • n. a hand-operated electronic device that controls the coordinates of a cursor on your computer screen as you move it around on a pad; on the bottom of the device is a ball that rolls on the surface of the pad
  • n. person who is quiet or timid
  • n. any of numerous small rodents typically resembling diminutive rats having pointed snouts and small ears on elongated bodies with slender usually hairless tails
  • v. to go stealthily or furtively
  • n. a swollen bruise caused by a blow to the eye
  • v. manipulate the mouse of a computer


Middle English mous, from Old English mūs; see mūs- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English mous, from Old English mūs, from Proto-Germanic *mūs, from Proto-Indo-European *muh₂s. (Wiktionary)



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  • Entertainment industry slang for the Walt Disney Company.

    August 26, 2009

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

    October 2, 2008