Vermin Ver"min, n. sing. & pl.; used chiefly as plural. [OE. vermine, F. vermine, from L. vermis a worm; cf. LL. vermen a worm, L. verminosus full of worms. See {Vermicular}, {Worm}.] 1. An animal, in general. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and vermin, and worms, and fowls. --Acts x. 12. (Geneva Bible). [1913 Webster]

This crocodile is a mischievous fourfooted beast, a dangerous vermin, used to both elements. --Holland. [1913 Webster]

2. A noxious or mischievous animal; especially, noxious little animals or insects, collectively, as squirrels, rats, mice, flies, lice, bugs, etc. ``Cruel hounds or some foul vermin.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Great injuries these vermin, mice and rats, do in the field. --Mortimer. [1913 Webster]

They disdain such vermin when the mighty boar of the forest . . . is before them. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

3. Hence, in contempt, noxious human beings. [1913 Webster]

You are my prisoners, base vermin. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • vermin — is normally treated as a plural in both its meanings (‘mammals and birds that are harmful to other life’ and ‘vile or despicable people’), although it can refer to a single person or animal: • Suddenly the older of the two little girls said, ‘Why …   Modern English usage

  • vermin — [vʉr′mən] n. pl. vermin [ME < OFr vermine < L vermis, a WORM] 1. [pl.] various insects, bugs, or small animals regarded as pests because destructive, disease carrying, etc., as flies, lice, rats, or weasels 2. [pl.] Brit. birds or animals… …   English World dictionary

  • vermin — ► NOUN (treated as pl. ) 1) wild mammals and birds which are harmful to crops, farm animals, or game, or which carry disease. 2) parasitic worms or insects. 3) very unpleasant and destructive people. DERIVATIVES verminous adjective. ORIGIN Old… …   English terms dictionary

  • vermin — n. 1) to exterminate vermin 2) (misc.) infested with vermin * * * [ vɜːmɪn] (misc.) infested with vermin to exterminate vermin …   Combinatory dictionary

  • vermin —    ‘Thou vermin!’ says a man to another in The Alchemist, by Ben Jonson. This seems to have been something of a fashionable insult at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century. But as with ‘you rat’, which is a similar… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • vermin — /verr min/, n., pl. vermin. 1. noxious, objectionable, or disgusting animals collectively, esp. those of small size that appear commonly and are difficult to control, as flies, lice, bedbugs, cockroaches, mice, and rats. 2. an objectionable or… …   Universalium

  • vermin — noun VERB + VERMIN ▪ consider sth, regard sth as ▪ Farmers regard foxes as vermin. ▪ attract ▪ control, deal with, shoot …   Collocations dictionary

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