ferret out

fer·ret out
F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [fer-it out]
    • /ˈfɛr ɪt aʊt/
    • /ˈfer.ɪt ˈaʊt/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [fer-it out]
    • /ˈfɛr ɪt aʊt/

Definitions of ferret out words

  • noun ferret out a domesticated, usually red-eyed, and albinic variety of the polecat, used in Europe for driving rabbits and rats from their burrows. 1
  • noun ferret out black-footed ferret. 1
  • verb with object ferret out to drive out by using or as if using a ferret (often followed by out): to ferret rabbits from their burrows; to ferret out enemies. 1
  • verb with object ferret out to hunt with ferrets. 1
  • verb with object ferret out to hunt over with ferrets: to ferret a field. 1
  • verb with object ferret out to harry, worry, or torment: His problems ferreted him day and night. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of ferret out

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English fer(r)et(te), fyret, furet < Middle French furet < Vulgar Latin *furittus, equivalent to fūr thief (< Latin) + -ittus -et

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Ferret out


ferret out popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 93% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

ferret out usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for ferret out

verb ferret out

  • unearth — to dig or get out of the earth; dig up.
  • bring to light — something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colors depend on light.
  • ascertain — If you ascertain the truth about something, you find out what it is, especially by making a deliberate effort to do so.
  • uncover — to lay bare; disclose; reveal.
  • get at — to receive or come to have possession, use, or enjoyment of: to get a birthday present; to get a pension.

See also

Matching words

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