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.]

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

This crocodile is a mischievous fourfooted beast, a dangerous vermin, used to both elements. Holland.

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.

Great injuries these vermin, mice and rats, do in the field. Mortimer.

They disdain such vermin when the mighty boar of the forest . . . is before them. Burke.

3.

Hence, in contempt, noxious human beings.

You are my prisoners, base vermin. Hudibras.

 

© Webster 1913.

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