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Sables

sable

Of the colour of the sable's fur; dark; black; used chiefly in poetry. Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden scepter o'er a slumbering world. (young) Sable antelope, the lemming.

1. (Science: zoology) A carnivorous animal of the weasel family (Mustela zibellina) native of the northern latitudes of Europe, asia, and America, noted for its fine, soft, and valuable fur.

The sable resembles the marten, but has a longer head and ears. Its fur consists of a soft under wool, with a dense coat of hair, overtopped by another still longer. It varies greatly in colour and quality according to the locality and the season of the year. The darkest and most valuable furs are taken in autumn and winter in the colder parts of Siberia, Russia, and British North America.

The American sable, or marten, was formerly considered a distinct species (Mustela Americana), but it differs very little from the Asiatic sable, and is now considered only a geographical variety.

2. The fur of the sable.

3. A mouring garment; a funeral robe; generally in the plural. Sables wove by destiny.

4. The tincture black; represented by vertical and horizontal lines each other.

Origin: OF. Sable, F. Zibeline sable (in sense 4), LL. Sabellum; cf. D. Sabel, Dan. Sabel, zobel, Sw. Sabel, sobel, G. Zobel; all fr. Russ. Sobole.


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