Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

ferret

2 verb
     
ferret2 [intransitive]
1 [always + adverb/preposition] informal to search for something that is lost or hidden among a lot of things or inside a drawer, box etc
ferret around/round/about
He started ferreting around in his desk.
ferret for
She ferreted in her bag for a pen.
2 to hunt rats and rabbits using a ferret

ferret somebody/something ↔ out

phrasal verb
1 to succeed in finding something such as a piece of information, that is difficult to find:
It's been difficult for reporters to ferret out the facts in this case.
Uncle Vernon ferreted out the laundry box from under the stairs.
2 American English to find and usually get rid of someone who is causing a problem:
The new program is meant to ferret out problem cops.

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