ferret out(redirected from ferret)
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ferret something out (from something)
Fig. to fetch something out from something. We will have to ferret the mouse out from behind the stove. We can ferret out the mouse with the aid of the cat.
ferret something out (of someone or something)and ferret something out
Fig. to get, remove, or retrieve something from someone or something, usually with cunning and persistence. I tried very hard, but I couldn't ferret the information out of the clerk. I had to ferret out the answers one by one.
ferret out somethingalso ferret something out
to discover something after careful searching Officials say they will ferret out abuses in the welfare program. If you're looking for owners of abandoned property, it can take years to ferret them out.
Uncover and bring to light by searching, as in Sandy was a superb reporter, tireless in ferreting out whatever facts were needed for her story . This expression alludes to hunting with ferrets, weasel-like animals formerly used to drive rabbits out of their burrows. [c. 1600]
To uncover or extract something by searching or questioning: The detective ferreted out the sequence of events by questioning all of the witnesses. We ferreted the truth out after we finished our investigation.