Dictionary > Squirrels


1. (Science: zoology) Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus sciurus and several allied genera of the famly sciuridae. Squirrels generally have a bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species live in burrows.
Among the common North American squirrels are the gray squirrel (Scirius Carolinensis) and its black variety; the fox, or cat, sqirrel (S. Cinereus, or S. Niger) which is a large species, and variable in colour, the southern variety being frequently black, while the northern and western varieties are usually gray or rusty brown; the red squirrel (see Chickaree); the striped, or chipping, squirrel (see Chipmunk); and the California gray squirrel (S. Fossor). Several other species inhabit Mexico and Central America. The common European species (sciurus vulgaris) has a long tuft of hair on each ear. The so-called Australian squirrels are marsupials. See petaurist, and phalanger.
2. One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work with the large cylinder.
(Science: zoology) Barking squirrel . See jelerang.
(Science: botany) Squirrel corn, a grass (Hordeum jubatum) found in salt marshes and along the Great lakes, having a dense spike beset with long awns.
Origin: OE. Squirel, OF. Esquirel, escurel, F. Ecureuil, LL. Squirelus, squirolus, scuriolus, dim. Of L. Sciurus, Gr. Sioyros; skia shade – o’yra tail. Cf. Shine.