1. A weasel (Mustela erminea) native to northern regions, having a black-tipped tail and dark brown fur that in winter changes to white. Also called stoat.
2. The commercially valuable white fur of this animal.
[Middle English ermin, from Old French ermine, hermine, possibly of Germanic origin (compare Old High German harmīn, of ermine, from harmo, ermine; akin to Lithuanian šarma, hoarfrost, and šermuo, šarmuo, ermine (the ermine being the animal with the "snowy" white coat)) or from Latin Armenius, Armenian (from the medieval belief that ermine pelts came from Armenia and were obtained from a furry animal that Pliny the Elder called in Latin mūs Pontica, literally "Pontic mouse," once thought to be the ermine).]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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