ermine, Mustela erminea



  • A weasel, Mustela erminea, found in northern latitudes; its dark brown fur turns white in winter (apart from the black tip of the tail).
  • The white fur of this animal, traditionally seen as a symbol of purity and used for judges' robes.
  • The office of a judge.
  • A white field with black spots.
  • Any of various moths, especially in the family Yponomeutidae


  • : In blazon, of the colour hermine (white with black spots).



Similar words


  • From Middle English ermine, ermin, ermyn, from Old French ermin, ermine, hermine.
  • There are two main theories for the origin of Old French ermine. Germanic origin is suggested via Old Dutch *harmino, from *harmo (compare Dutch hermelijn and dialectal herm), from Proto-Germanic *harmǭ, *harmô (compare Old English hearma, Old High German harmo (harmin, obsolete German Harm), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱormō (compare Romansch carmun, obsolete Lithuanian šarmuõ). Romance sources identify the animal with the corresponding word for Armenian, possibly from Medieval Latin mūs Armenius or a posterior compound.

Modern English dictionary

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