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ermine


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A stoat, especially in its white winter coat. The word comes through Old French, and probably derives ultimately from medieval Latin (mus) Armenius ‘Armenian (mouse)’.

Ermine also denotes the white fur of the stoat, used for trimming garments, especially the ceremonial robes of judges or peers; in heraldry, it is fur represented as black spots on a white ground, as a heraldic tincture (the spots represent the dark tips of the ermines' tails, and are usually elaborated into short vertical lines with small curved projections, often with (usually three) smaller dots above).


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