The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Squirrel \Squir"rel\ (skw[~e]r"r[e^]l or skw[i^]r"-; 277), n.
[OE. squirel, OF. esquirel, escurel, F. ['e]cureuil, LL.
squirelus, squirolus, scuriolus, dim. of L. sciurus, Gr.
si`oyros; skia` shade + o'yra` tail. Cf. Shine, v. i.]
1. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of small rodents
belonging to the genus Sciurus and several allied genera
of the family Sciuridae. Squirrels generally have a
bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They
are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species
live in burrows.
Note: Among the common North American squirrels are the gray
squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis) and its black
variety; the fox, or cat, squirrel (Sciurus cinereus,
or Sciurus niger) which is a large species, and
variable in color, the southern variety being
frequently black, while the northern and western
varieties are usually gray or rusty brown; the red
squirrel (see Chickaree); the striped, or chipping,
squirrel (see Chipmunk); and the California gray
squirrel (Sciurus fossor). Several other species
inhabit Mexico and Central America. The common European
species (Sciurus vulgaris) has a long tuft of hair on
each ear. The so-called Australian squirrels are
marsupials. See Petaurist, and Phalanger.
2. One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work
with the large cylinder.
Barking squirrel (Zool.), the prairie dog.
Federation squirrel (Zool.), the striped gopher. See
Flying squirrel (Zool.). See Flying squirrel, in the
Java squirrel. (Zool.). See Jelerang.
Squirrel corn (Bot.), a North American herb (Dicentra
Canadensis) bearing little yellow tubers.
Squirrel cup (Bot.), the blossom of the Hepatica triloba,
a low perennial herb with cup-shaped flowers varying from
purplish blue to pink or even white. It is one of the
earliest flowers of spring.
Squirrel fish. (Zool.)
(a) A sea bass (Serranus fascicularis) of the Southern
(b) The sailor's choice (Diplodus rhomboides).
(c) The redmouth, or grunt.
(d) A market fish of Bermuda (Holocentrum Ascensione).
Squirrel grass (Bot.), a pestiferous grass (Hordeum
murinum) related to barley. In California the stiffly
awned spikelets work into the wool of sheep, and into the
throat, flesh, and eyes of animals, sometimes even
Squirrel hake (Zool.), a common American hake (Phycis
tenuis); -- called also white hake.
Squirrel hawk (Zool.), any rough-legged hawk; especially,
the California species Archibuteo ferrugineus.
Squirrel monkey. (Zool.)
(a) Any one of several species of small, soft-haired South
American monkeys of the genus Callithrix. They are
noted for their graceful form and agility. See
(b) A marmoset.
Squirrel petaurus (Zool.), a flying phalanger of Australia.
See Phalanger, Petaurist, and Flying phalanger under
Squirrel shrew (Zool.), any one of several species of East
Indian and Asiatic insectivores of the genus Tupaia.
They are allied to the shrews, but have a bushy tail, like
that of a squirrel.
Squirrel-tail grass (Bot.), a grass (Hordeum jubatum)
found in salt marshes and along the Great Lakes, having a
dense spike beset with long awns.