dormouse


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to dormouse: Edible dormouse

dormouse,

name for Old World nocturnal rodentsrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of the family Gliridae. There are many dormouse species, classified in several genera. Many resemble small squirrels. Dormice sleep deeply during the day, and European species hibernate for nearly six months of the year; their name is derived from the French dormir, "to sleep." Best known is the common dormouse, or hazelmouse, Muscardinus avellanarius, of Europe and W Asia, which resembles a mouse with a bushy tail. It is up to 4 in. (10 cm) long excluding the 2-in. (5-cm) tail, with rounded ears, large eyes, and thick, soft, reddish brown fur. Social animals, hazelmice build neighboring nests of leaves and grasses in bushes and thickets. They feed on insects, berries, seeds, and nuts, and are especially partial to hazelnuts. The European, or fat, dormouse, Glis glis, is the largest of the family reaching a length of 8 in. (20 cm) excluding the tail; it has a very thick coat of grayish fur and becomes extremely fat in autumn. It is found in forested regions of Europe and W Asia and lives in hollow trees. The ancient Romans raised it in captivity for food. There are many dormouse species in Africa. The spiny dormice of S Asia belong to a different rodent family, the Platacanthomyidae; they have spines mixed with their fur. The desert dormouse (Selevinia betpakolalensis) is placed in its own family, Seleviniidae. True dormice are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Gliridae.

dormouse

[′dȯr‚mau̇s]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name applied to members of the family Gliridae; they are Old World arboreal rodents intermediate between squirrels and rats.

dormouse

snoozes all through the mad tea-party. [Br. Lit.: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland]
See: Sleep

dormouse

any small Old World rodent of the family Gliridae, esp the Eurasian Muscardinus avellanarius, resembling a mouse with a furry tail
References in classic literature ?
You might just as well say,' added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that "I breathe when I sleep" is the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe"
The Dormouse is asleep again,' said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea upon its nose.
The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said, without opening its eyes, `Of course, of course; just what I was going to remark myself.
Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in its sleep
Once upon a time there were three little sisters,' the Dormouse began in a great hurry; `and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well--'
They lived on treacle,' said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question.
And Miss Dormouse refused to take back the ends when they were brought back to her with complaints.
And when Mr John Dormouse was complained to, he stayed in bed, and would say nothing but "very snug;" which is not the way to carry on a retail business
Sisters and a dormouse and some canaries," Rachel murmured, never taking her eyes off him.
With this address, which was delivered in her politest manner, Fanny left the room with an elegant and cheerful air--to tear up- stairs with a flushed face as soon as she was out of hearing, pounce in upon her sister, call her a little Dormouse, shake her for the better opening of her eyes, tell her what had passed below, and ask her what she thought of Pa now?
Razumihin informed him that Raskolnikov was sleeping like a dormouse.