I. noun 1. a large semiaquatic broad-tailed rodent native to North America and northern Eurasia. It is noted for its habit of gnawing through trees to fell them in order to make dams.●Family Castoridae and genus Castor: the North American C. canadensis and the Eurasian C. fiber. 2. [ mass noun] — the soft light brown fur of the beaver. • long coats trimmed with light beaver.
3. (also beaver hat) —
‹chiefly historical› a hat made of felted beaver fur.
4. (also beaver cloth) [ mass noun] — a heavy woollen cloth resembling felted beaver fur. 5. a very hard-working person. • Hopkins was a regular beaver where gardening was concerned.
6. ( Beaver) — a boy aged about 6 or 7 who is an affiliated member of the Scout Association. II. verb — [no obj.] (usu. beaver away) 1.
‹informal› work hard
• Bridget beavered away to keep things running smoothly.
– origin Old English beofor, befor, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bever and German Biber, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘brown’.