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

  • noun Any of various arboreal rodents of the tribe Sciurini and especially of the genus Sciurus, characteristically having a long flexible bushy tail.
  • noun Any of various other rodents of the family Sciuridae, such as the ground squirrels and the flying squirrels.
  • noun The fur of one of these rodents.
  • transitive verb To hide or store.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A rodent quadruped of the family Sciuridæ and genus Sciurus, originally and specifically Sciurus vulgaris of Europe.
  • noun In cotton manufacturing, one of the small card-covered rollers used with the large roller of a carding-machine. Also called urchin.

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 Sciurus and several allied genera of the family Sciuridæ. Squirrels generally have a bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species live in burrows.
  • noun One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work with the large cylinder.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the prairie dog.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the striped gopher. See Gopher, 2.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Flying squirrel, in the Vocabulary.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Jelerang.
  • noun (Bot.) a North American herb (Dicentra Canadensis) bearing little yellow tubers.
  • noun (Bot.) the blossom of the Hepatica triloba, a low perennial herb with cup-shaped flowers varying from purplish blue to pink or even white. It is one of the earliest flowers of spring.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A market fish of Bermuda (Holocentrum Ascensione).
  • noun (Bot.) a pestiferous grass (Hordeum murinum) related to barley. In California the stiffly awned spikelets work into the wool of sheep, and into the throat, flesh, and eyes of animals, sometimes even producing death.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a common American hake (Phycis tenuis); -- called also white hake.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any rough-legged hawk; especially, the California species Archibuteo ferrugineus.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A marmoset.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a flying phalanger of Australia. See Phalanger, Petaurist, and Flying phalanger under Flying.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of East Indian and Asiatic insectivores of the genus Tupaia. They are allied to the shrews, but have a bushy tail, like that of a squirrel.
  • noun (Bot.) a grass (Hordeum jubatum) found in salt marshes and along the Great Lakes, having a dense spike beset with long awns.

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

  • noun Any of the rodents of the family Sciuridae distinguished by their large bushy tail.
  • noun Scientology A person, usually a freezoner, who applies L. Ron Hubbard's technology in a heterodox manner.
  • verb transitive To store in a secretive manner, to hide something for future use

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

  • noun a kind of arboreal rodent having a long bushy tail
  • noun the fur of a squirrel


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

[Middle English squirel, from Anglo-Norman esquirel, from Vulgar Latin *scūriolus, diminutive of *scūrius, alteration of Latin sciūrus, from Greek skiouros : skiā, shadow + ourā, tail; see ors- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French esquirel, escurel (whence French écureuil), from Vulgar Latin scuriolus, diminutive of scurius, variant of Latin sciurus, from Ancient Greek σκίουρος (skiouros). Displaced native Middle English aquerne, from Old English acweorna.


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  • I told you.

    this is creepy. It appeared three random words after squirrel. I'm not kidding.

    October 9, 2008

  • Hmm... the link to[squirrel] gives a 404, not the bracketeering word. Off to bugs, then...?

    Edit: oh wait: it's a misuse of HTML entities that's doing that.

    October 9, 2008

  • Fixed :-)

    October 12, 2008

  • A squirrel to some is a squirrel,

    To others, a squirrel's a squirl.

    Since freedom of speech is the birthright of each,

    I can only this fable unfurl:

    A virile young squirrel named Cyril,

    In an argument over a girl,

    Was lambasted from here to the Tyrol

    By a churl of a squirl named Earl.

    – Ogden Nash

    December 24, 2008

  • The etymology of this seems very straightforward: Greek skiourous from ski- "shadow" + ouros "tail". Yet Starostin's etymological database evidently regards the second element not as "tail" but as the zero grade of an Indo-European *(o)wer-, name of some kind of weasel-like animal, as found reduplicated in Latin viverra, and also in German Eichhörnchen "squirrel". That latter looks like a simple Eiche "oak" + Horn "horn" + diminutive, but the second part is known to be from the *wer- root with subsequent superficial assimilation to horn.

    In wish there was some indication of how much of Starostin is well-agreed and how much is his own speculation.

    March 8, 2009

  • Interesting usage (about the animal) here.

    June 19, 2009

  • The Latvian word for squirrels is vavers--but I like the thought of calling them acorns.

    October 25, 2011

  • "In cotton manufacturing, one of the small card-covered rollers used with the large roller of a carding-machine. Also called urchin."


    January 24, 2013

  • There is a listing in swishcheese-and-leapfogs, perhaps.... that tailed to squirrels of all types AND squirrels--squirrels--squirrels by Ruzuzu

    January 24, 2013

  • Oh, thank goodness there's already a squirrel list. That was gonna drive me nuts. :-)

    January 24, 2013

  • I knew you'd find3 your squirrels3 list.

    January 24, 2013