Ermine Er"mine, n. [OF. ermine, F. hermine, prob. of German origin; cf. OHG. harmo, G. hermelin, akin to Lith. szarm?, szarmonys, weasel, cf. AS. hearma; but cf. also LL. armelinus, armellina, hermellina, and pellis Armenia, the fur of the Armenian rat, mus Armenius, the animal being found also in Armenia.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) A valuable fur-bearing animal of the genus Mustela ({M. erminea}), allied to the weasel; the stoat. It is found in the northern parts of Asia, Europe, and America. In summer it is brown, but in winter it becomes white, except the tip of the tail, which is always black. [1913 Webster]

2. The fur of the ermine, as prepared for ornamenting garments of royalty, etc., by having the tips of the tails, which are black, arranged at regular intervals throughout the white. [1913 Webster]

3. By metonymy, the office or functions of a judge, whose state robe, lined with ermine, is emblematical of purity and honor without stain. --Chatham. [1913 Webster]

4. (Her.) One of the furs. See {Fur} (Her.) [1913 Webster]

Note: Ermine is represented by an argent field, tufted with black. Ermines is the reverse of ermine, being black, spotted or timbered with argent. Erminois is the same as ermine, except that or is substituted for argent. [1913 Webster]

{Ermine moth} (Zo["o]l.), a white moth with black spots (esp. {Yponomeuta padella} of Europe); -- so called on account of the resemblance of its covering to the fur of the ermine; also applied to certain white bombycid moths of America. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

(Mustela erminea) / / / , (white ground spotted with black)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ermine — [ʉr′min] n. pl. ermines or ermine [ME & OFr ermin; OFr ermine, hermine, prob. < MHG hermin, erminelike < harme, ermine < OHG harmo, weasel (OE hearma): infl. by folk etym. assoc. with L ( mus) Armenius, Armenian (mouse)] 1. any of… …   English World dictionary

  • ermine — late 12c., from O.Fr. ermine (12c., Mod.Fr. hermine), both the animal and the fur, apparently from a convergence of L. (mus) Armenius Armenian (mouse), ermines being abundant in Asia Minor; and an unrelated Germanic word for weasel (Cf. O.H.G.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ermine — Er mine, v. t. To clothe with, or as with, ermine. [1913 Webster] The snows that have ermined it in the winter. Lowell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ermine — f English: in origin perhaps a variant of HERMINE (SEE Hermine), but strongly influenced in popularity by association with the name of the fur (Old French ermine, medieval Latin armēnius (mūs) Armenian mouse) …   First names dictionary

  • ermine — Ermine, Mus ponticus. Vide Harmol. Corol …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • ermine — ► NOUN (pl. same or ermines) 1) a stoat. 2) the white winter fur of the stoat, used for trimming the ceremonial robes of judges or peers. ORIGIN Old French hermine, probably from Latin mus Armenius Armenian mouse …   English terms dictionary

  • Ermine — Taxobox name = Ermine (or Stoat) status = LR/lc | status system = IUCN2.3 regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Carnivora familia = Mustelidae subfamilia = Mustelinae genus = Mustela species = M. erminea binomial = Mustela …   Wikipedia

  • ermine — ermined, adj. /err min/, n., pl. ermines, (esp. collectively) ermine, adj. n. 1. an Old World weasel, Mustela erminea, having in its winter color phase a white coat with black at the tip of the tail. Cf. stoat. 2. any of various weasels having a… …   Universalium

  • ermine — /ˈɜmən / (say ermuhn) noun (plural ermines, ermine) 1. the white colour phase of Mustela erminea, a small carnivore of the weasel family found in Europe, Asia and North America; the brown colour phase is called the stoat. Compare stoat. 2. the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • ermine — noun (plural ermines) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French hermin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German harmo weasel Date: 12th century 1. or plural ermine a. any of several weasels whose coats become white in winter usually with… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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