any of a family (Gliridae) of small, furry-tailed, mostly tree-dwelling Old World rodents
Origin of dormouseMiddle English dormous uncertain or unknown; perhaps altered by folk etymology (after mous, mouse) ; from Old French dormeuse, sleepy, sluggish ; from dormir: see dormant
Any of various small omnivorous rodents of the family Gliridae of Eurasia and Africa, having long furred tails and known for their long hibernation periods.
Origin of dormouseMiddle English, perhaps alteration (influenced by mous, mouse) of Anglo-Norman *dormeus, inclined to sleep, hibernating, from Old French dormir, to sleep; see dormant.
- Any of several species of small, mostly European rodents of the family Gliridae; also called Myoxidae or Muscardinidae by some taxonomists.
- (UK) Muscardinus avellanarius, the hazel dormouse.
- (figuratively) A person who sleeps a great deal, or who falls asleep readily (by analogy with the sound hibernation of the dormouse).
The word is sometimes considered to come from an Anglo-Norman derivative of Old French dormir (“to sleep”), but no such Anglo-Norman word is known to have existed.