ferret

You may be familiar with ferrets, those adorable little mammals that look like cheap minks. Well, the verb to ferret means to act like a ferret: to dig for something until you find it.

Ferrets are great at digging, so it's no surprise that we acknowledge their skills when we make the verb ferret, which almost always comes attached to the preposition "out." Woodward and Bernstein worked tirelessly to ferret out the names of the guys who raided the Watergate offices. When you're ready, I'm going to ask you to ferret out those two photos from that stack of photo boxes.

Primary Meanings of ferret

1.
nv
domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits
hunt with ferrets
2.
v
search and discover through persistent investigation
Full Definitions of ferret
1

n domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits

Type of:
Mustela putorius, fitch, foulmart, foumart, polecat
dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened

n musteline mammal of prairie regions of United States; nearly extinct

Synonyms:
Mustela nigripes, black-footed ferret
Type of:
mustelid, musteline, musteline mammal
fissiped fur-bearing carnivorous mammals

v hunt with ferrets

Type of:
hunt, hunt down, run, track down
pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)

v hound or harry relentlessly

Type of:
hound, hunt, trace
pursue or chase relentlessly
2

v search and discover through persistent investigation

“She ferreted out the truth”
Synonyms:
ferret out
Type of:
discover, find
make a discovery

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