Definition of mink in US English:



  • 1A small semiaquatic carnivore resembling the stoat, native to North America and Eurasia. The American mink is widely farmed for its fur, resulting in it becoming naturalized in many parts of Europe.

    Genus Mustela, family Mustelidae: the American mink (M. vison) and the smaller European mink (M. lutreola)

    • ‘Badgers were most often mentioned, but minks and wolverines had been known to succumb occasionally.’
    • ‘One particular problem is the mink, which were farmed in the 1960s and escaped in large numbers.’
    • ‘Darwin had already cited the mink and the otter as transitional in conversion of land carnivores to aquatic habits.’
    • ‘Many carnivores, such as mink, seal, fox, and bobcat, have long been hunted or ranched for their fur.’
    • ‘Prion diseases occur in sheep, goats, mink, mule deer, elk, cats and cows.’
    • ‘The session begins with a mammal expert explaining more about water voles, otters and mink.’
    • ‘Within the family Mustelidae, weasels, minks, and martens exhibit remarkable intra- and interspecific pelage color variations.’
    • ‘At heart, though, the ferret is a denizen of the countryside, a weasel closely related to the European polecat and the mink.’
    • ‘Among the creatures expected to blossom as a result would be the tiny water vole, whose populations were decimated by the introduction of the mink from North America.’
    • ‘Disturbance after eggs are laid provides opportunities for predation by carrion crows, jays, kestrels, magpies, foxes and mink.’
    • ‘Of these animals, only weasels, otters and mink remain widespread, and the weasel is the only one that is still abundant.’
    • ‘Animals used to make fur include dogs, cats, pumas, seals, badgers, foxes, otters, mink and squirrels.’
    • ‘The Guardian reported that the mink are an American variety not native to Spain and officials were concerned that the mink might displace local native species.’
    • ‘At the first level, the Mide priest would have a medicine bag made from the skin of an otter, marten, mink, or weasel.’
    • ‘Whereas the largest are fairly well researched, knowledge of the fisher, wolverine, river otter, mink, lynx, bobcat, and raccoon is almost entirely from anecdote.’
    • ‘The weasel family includes such colourful characters as otters, wolverines, skunks, minks and badgers.’
    • ‘If these were dogs, rabbits or mink, every farm gate would have dozens of protesters.’
    • ‘Predators of erethizontids include mustelids such as martens, minks, wolverines, ermine, weasels, and fishers.’
    • ‘Fishers are among the least understood of the weasel family, or mustelids, which also includes martens, minks, ermines, ferrets, badgers, otters, and wolverines.’
    • ‘Experimental hybridization has established that polecats, ferrets, Steppe polecats, and European mink are able to produce fertile hybrids.’
    1. 1.1 The thick brown fur of the mink.
      • ‘Hermes has shown a T-shirt made of reindeer skin for men, while Cerruti made one of silver mink.’
      • ‘Quite apart from the serious ethical questions surrounding the killing of animals for their fur, mink fell out of favour as it became associated with the vulgar side of wealth.’
      • ‘There's a real paucity of suggestions for the beer-swilling boxer wearers in your life, unless those men also harbor secret fascinations with Christian Lacroix chairs and mink jackets.’
      • ‘It seems French women can be very gullible when it comes to mink versus fox fur, but you're English aren't you?’
      • ‘This marked rise in fur's popularity led to mink production increasing from 2.6 million to a staggering 28.6 million, skins with prices rocketing by 15 per cent over the same period.’
      • ‘If you have a 1960s cape like elbow sleeve mink jacket hiding away, or have an aunt or mother or even grandmother who has one or can pick one up in a thrift shop, get ready to don it this winter.’
      • ‘That one's Russian mink.’
      • ‘Deep plum tones are etched in black while bleached ivory mink is laser cut with contrasting brown.’
      • ‘If Gweneviere's hands were cold, she would simply snuggle them into her mink muff.’
      • ‘He noted that there has been a considerable increase in the price of mink and fur; which may give an advantage to Karakul sales.’
      • ‘Much of the fur is mislabelled and people might think they are buying something like mink when actually it is cat or dog fur.’
      • ‘The use of extraordinary precious materials make each piece unique: matte alligator, de-stressed crocodile, mink or lapin with snakeskin and anaconda.’
      • ‘Fox, lynx, mink as well as shearing being dyed in strong colours dominate this season, whether it be trimmings on collar and cuffs or luxurious linings.’
      • ‘Among them are Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Sir John A. MacDonald festooned in mink, beaver, muskrat, seal and rabbit.’
      • ‘Classic brown mink in NAFA Mahogany and Demi Buff were anything but traditional in their hip wrapped and belted silhouettes.’
      • ‘Short cropped, short sleeved mink or fur jackets will be a 2004/5 fashion when worn with narrow trousers that seem sprayed on drainpipe style.’
      • ‘I compliment the wife on her mink vest, although I think privately she looks a lot like Genghis Khan.’
      • ‘First, the amount of fur on show at the exhibition has angered many, including protest group PETA who reacted against Julien Macdonalds's collection, which included fox, chinchilla, mink and sable furs.’
      • ‘Oh, and Gucci's woman wouldn't dream of leaving the house without a rigid leather vest or that little fur chubby in mink and anaconda for special occasions!’
      • ‘It can be made from a variety of pelts and hides including leather, sealskin, mink, racoon, rabbit or pigskin in hundreds of different styles.’
    2. 1.2 A coat made of mink.
      • ‘Of course, the ultimate in vulgar glamour was sporting a full-length white mink.’
      • ‘She had inherited Margot Grahame's mink, but the rest came from charity shops.’


Late Middle English (denoting the animal's fur): from Swedish.