weasel definition, weasel meaning | English dictionary

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weasel

  

      n   pl   , -sels, -sel  
1    any of various small predatory musteline mammals of the genus Mustela and related genera, esp. M. nivalis (European weasel), having reddish-brown fur, an elongated body and neck, and short legs  
2    Informal   a sly or treacherous person  
3      (Chiefly U.S.)   a motor vehicle for use in snow, esp. one with caterpillar tracks  
     (Old English weosule, wesle; related to Old Norse visla, Old High German wisula, Middle Dutch wesel)  
  weaselly      adj  


weasel out  
      vb   intr, adv  
Informal  
1    to go back on a commitment  
2    to evade a responsibility, esp. in a despicable manner  
weasel words  
      pl n  
Informal   intentionally evasive or misleading speech; equivocation  
     (C20: alluding to the weasel's supposed ability to suck an egg out of its shell without seeming to break the shell)  
  weasel-worded      adj  
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