noun ter·ri·er \ˈter-ē-ər, ˈte-rē-\

: a type of small dog originally used for hunting

Full Definition of TERRIER

:  any of various usually small energetic dogs originally used by hunters to dig for small game and engage the quarry underground or drive it out

Illustration of TERRIER

Origin of TERRIER

Middle English terryer, terrer, from Anglo-French (chen) terrer, literally, earth dog, from terre earth, from Latin terra
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with TERRIER

TERRIER Defined for Kids


noun ter·ri·er \ˈter-ē-ər\

Definition of TERRIER for Kids

:  a usually small dog originally used by hunters to force animals from their holes

Word History of TERRIER

Terriers were first used in hunting. Their job was to dig for small animals and force them from their holes. The word terrier comes from a medieval French phrase chen terrer (or chien terrier), literally, earth dog. The terr- in terrier comes ultimately from Latin terra, earth.
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