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Related to weasels: Weasel family

catch a weasel asleep

To surprise someone who is normally alert, shrewd, or on-guard. Primarily heard in US. You want to try to steal your transcript from the principal's office? You never catch a weasel asleep—and especially not that one!
See also: asleep, catch, weasel

weasel out (of something)

1. To squeeze out of a narrow space; to slink out (of something). It's a bit tight, but I think I can weasel out of this part of the cave. Stevie got stuck in the tunnel at the playground, but he was eventually able to weasel out.
2. To avoid a situation or responsibility through sly or devious means. Oh no, you're not weaseling out of doing the dishes this time. You can help Grandma later.
3. To elicit something from someone through sly or devious means. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "weasel" and "out." The reporter was known for being able to weasel information out of just about anyone she spoke to. I tried to refuse but eventually they weaseled a donation out of me.
See also: out, weasel

weasel words

Language employed to avoid directly stating a position or answering a question, or to enhance the appearance of something. Wikipedia discourages the use of weasel words in its encyclopedia entries to decrease the possibility of bias. If you read the transcript of his press conference, you'll see that there's barely any substances—it's nearly all weasel words.
See also: weasel, word

you weasel

You sneaky person. You weasel! I can't believe you stole the song I was going to do for the audition!
See also: weasel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

weasel out

 (of something)
1. Fig. to squeeze one's way out of something. Somehow, the child managed to weasel out of the hole she was stuck in. The mouse tried to weasel out.
2. Fig. to evade or avoid a job or responsibility. (Fig. on {2}.) Don't try to weasel out of your responsibility! You can't weasel out! You have to do it.
See also: out, weasel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

weasel out

Back out of a situation or commitment, especially in a sneaky way. For example, I'd love to weasel out of serving on the board. This expression alludes to the stealthy hunting and nesting habits of the weasel, a small, slender-bodied predator. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: out, weasel

weasel word

A word used to deprive a statement of its force or evade a direct commitment, as in Calling it "organized spontaneity" is using a weasel word; "organized" has sucked the meaning out of "spontaneity." This idiom may allude to the weasel's habit of sucking the contents out of a bird's egg, so that only the shell remains. [Late 1800s]
See also: weasel, word
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

weasel out

v. Slang
1. To back out of some situation or commitment in a selfish or sly manner: The party was boring—you were smart to weasel out early. My cousins weaseled out of contributing to the gift.
2. weasel out of To elicit something from someone by artful or devious means: At first, they wouldn't admit that they were to blame, but I weaseled the truth out of them.
See also: out, weasel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. n. a sneaky person. If Fred weren’t such a weasel, we could get along better.
2. n. an earnest student. (Collegiate.) Martin is your classic weasel.

weasel out of something

in. to get out of doing something; to wiggle out of a responsibility. I know how to weasel out of something like that. You get a headache.
See also: of, out, something, weasel
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

weasel word

A word that takes away the meaning from a statement, just as a weasel sucks the meat from an egg. The term dates from about 1900 and was popularized by Theodore Roosevelt. In a 1916 speech criticizing President Woodrow Wilson, Roosevelt said, “You can have universal training or you can have voluntary training but when you use the word ‘voluntary’ to qualify the word ‘universal’ you are using a weasel word; it has sucked all the meaning out of ‘universal.’ The two words flatly contradict one another.”
See also: weasel, word
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It was a weasel, which ran along a path towards me at RSPB Saltholme and reared up on to its hind legs just a couple of feet away while trying to stare me out.
They have bombarded the Southern Municipal Council with complaints and demanded immediate action following a number of incidents in which several weasels burrowed their way into homes.
Scotland's animal welfare charity has been caring for the weasel since he was found in Hallglen at the beginning of the month.
"You can call us wrong, but don't call us weasels," Comey said.
In fact, while his focus in this excellent book is on the early Weasels flying F-100s and F-105s in Vietnam, he flew the mission himself in F-16s during his twenty years in the Air Force.
For weasels, intrasexual territoriality may occur seasonally or not at all because of high adult mortality (Debrot and Mermod 1983, Linnell et al.
Almost exactly two years ago (March 2014), I wrote this column about a dead weasel I had found on the streets of Garden City.
Long-tailed weasels range from 11 to 16 inches in size, including the tail, with the males larger than the females.
Weasels and other mustelids are known to hunt primarily by sound (Gillingham, 1986; King and Powell, 2007).
TALKING to weasels is not a exactly a habit for wildlife photographer Leslie Holburn.
FURIOUS Danny Baker called BBC bosses "weasels" live on air yesterday after they axed his daily radio show.
PRESENTER Danny Baker, pictured, blasted BBC bosses as "pinheaded weasels" after his popular radio show was axed, days before he is due to be honoured with a top broadcasting award.
Finally, thus armed and alerted, we will not be deceived by the weasels and the words they use to subtly siphon the vitality of the Constitution.