1. plural of mouse.

noun, plural mice [mahys] /maɪs/.

  1. any of numerous small Old World rodents of the family Muridae, especially of the genus Mus, introduced widely in other parts of the world.
  2. any similar small animal of various rodent and marsupial families.
  3. a quiet, timid person.
  4. Computers. a palm-sized, button-operated pointing device that can be used to move, select, activate, and change items on a computer screen.Compare joystick(def 2), stylus(def 3).
  5. Informal. a swelling under the eye, caused by a blow or blows; black eye.
  6. Slang. a girl or woman.

verb (used with object), moused, mous·ing.

  1. to hunt out, as a cat hunts out mice.
  2. Nautical. to secure with a mousing.

verb (used without object), moused, mous·ing.

  1. to hunt for or catch mice.
  2. to prowl about, as if in search of something: The burglar moused about for valuables.
  3. to seek or search stealthily or watchfully, as if for prey.
  4. Computers. to use a mouse to move the cursor on a computer screen to any position.


  1. the plural of mouse

noun (maʊs) plural mice (maɪs)

  1. any of numerous small long-tailed rodents of the families Muridae and Cricetidae that are similar to but smaller than ratsSee also fieldmouse, harvest mouse, house mouse Related adjective: murine
  2. any of various related rodents, such as the jumping mouse
  3. a quiet, timid, or cowardly person
  4. computing a hand-held device used to control the cursor movement and select computing functions without keying
  5. slang a black eye
  6. nautical another word for mousing

verb (maʊz)

  1. to stalk and catch (mice)
  2. (intr) to go about stealthily
  3. (tr) nautical to secure (a hook) with mousing

n.Old English mus “small rodent,” also “muscle of the arm,” from Proto-Germanic *mus (cf. Old Norse, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Danish, Swedish mus, Dutch muis, German Maus “mouse”), from PIE *mus- (cf. Sanskrit mus “mouse, rat,” Old Persian mush “mouse,” Old Church Slavonic mysu, Latin mus, Lithuanian muse “mouse,” Greek mys “mouse, muscle”). Plural form mice (Old English mys) shows effects of i-mutation. Contrasted with man (n.) from 1620s. Meaning “black eye” (or other discolored lump) is from 1842. Computer sense is from 1965, though applied to other things resembling a mouse in shape since 1750, mainly nautical. Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus [Horace] v.“to hunt mice,” mid-13c., from mouse (n.). Related: Moused; mousing. Plural mice (mīs) or mouses

  1. A hand-held input device that is moved about on a flat surface to direct the cursor on a computer screen. It also has buttons for activating computer functions. The underside of a mechanical mouse contains a rubber-coated ball that rotates as the mouse is moved; optical sensors detect the motion and move the screen pointer correspondingly. An optical mouse is cordless and uses reflections from an LED to track the mouse’s movement over a special reflective mat which is marked with a grid that acts as a frame of reference.

A common device that allows the user to reposition an arrow on their computer screen in order to activate desired applications. The term mouse comes from the appearance of the device, with the cord to the main computer being seen as a tail of sorts. see best-laid plans of mice and men; when the cat’s away, mice will play. Also see under mouse. see play cat and mouse; poor as a churchmouse; quiet as a mouse. Also see under mice.

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