One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A troublesome wild animal.
- ‘Why, they got out their shotguns and went hunting for the varmints.’
- ‘It has taken a ton of small game and varmints with the kind of repeatable efficiency that a .22 rifleman would be happy to claim.’
- ‘Whilst baiting up I inadvertently stood next to a wasp's nest, and was attacked by dozens of the varmints, getting stung about 10 times on various parts of my body.’
- ‘He had lived on prairie varmints for two days straight.’
- ‘A great deal of space is devoted to hunting small game, varmints and big game in the US and Africa.’
- ‘All I heard constantly was the buzzing of mosquitoes and other pesky swamp varmints.’
- ‘The long punishing jaws of a borzoi can snatch up small and not-so-small varmints both wild or domestic with lightning speed.’
- ‘The poor footing provided by the metal and the heat radiated by it should discourage the varmints from using your roof for their track meets.’
- ‘The biggest pests on the farm are the varmints - voles, gophers, wild turkey and quail.’
- ‘For rifle enthusiasts who practice regularly, who shoot varmints or targets at long range, a 300 yard shot on a big game animal is not difficult.’
- ‘Incredibly, the voracious varmints passed them up, perhaps because larkspurs, both flowers and seeds, are toxic (something to consider if you have livestock or chewing pets).’
- ‘Keep your hands and arms covered to protect yourself from poison ivy or garden varmints.’
- ‘These farmers often had to deal with varmints, and laid traps, then as now, as the most efficient way of addressing that problem.’
- ‘And sometimes, those varmints can be pretty darn big.’
- ‘The sixgun is now available and should be extremely popular for hunting varmints and small game, as well as for the greatest of all handgun sports, plinking.’
- ‘My fiancee-civilized, gentle soul-once beaned a squirrel with an ice cube to keep the varmint from stripping her sunflowers bare.’
- ‘Out at 130 yards, which was the farthest shot taken, you better plan on making a head or upper body shot on small varmints.’
- ‘Over time, I have developed a near phobia regarding the varmints to the point where I don't even like them mentioned.’
- ‘Besides nest robbers such as the great horned owl and the raven, and a couple of egg-sucking varmints like the raccoon, there isn't much in nature that ospreys fear.’
- ‘It might have come in handy if we ever spotted the Eastern Screech-Owl that disturbed our already suspect outdoor slumber, but the voluble varmint was well-hidden.’
- 1.1 A troublesome and mischievous person, especially a child.
mischievous child, imp, monkey, puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearawayView synonyms
- ‘And today we're in the badlands of cowboy capitalism, uncovering what the varmints have done to our retirement savings.’
- ‘Down on the main street is the Number Ten Saloon where Wild Bill copped a bullet in the back from a hired varmint named Jack McCall.’
- ‘Sam, who has bought the General Store, is immediately faced with the prospect of paying protection money to the town baddie, Parker Tillman, the double-dealing varmint who sold him the store in the first place.’
- ‘In the resulting court case, he pleads with the jury to set him free to take over as sheriff and run these varmints out of town.’
- ‘It is our job to deal with these pesky varmints and stick fines on their windscreens.’
Mid 16th century: alteration of vermin.
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