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.

Definitions of ferret
  1. noun
    domesticated albino variety of the European polecat bred for hunting rats and rabbits
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    type of:
    Mustela putorius, fitch, foulmart, foumart, polecat
    dark brown mustelid of woodlands of Eurasia that gives off an unpleasant odor when threatened
  2. noun
    musteline mammal of prairie regions of United States; nearly extinct
    synonyms: Mustela nigripes, black-footed ferret
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    type of:
    mustelid, musteline, musteline mammal
    fissiped fur-bearing carnivorous mammals
  3. verb
    hunt with ferrets
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    type of:
    hunt, hunt down, run, track down
    pursue for food or sport (as of wild animals)
  4. verb
    hound or harry relentlessly
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    type of:
    hound, hunt, trace
    pursue or chase relentlessly
  5. verb
    search and discover through persistent investigation
    “She ferreted out the truth”
    synonyms: ferret out
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    type of:
    discover, find
    make a discovery
Word Family

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