Definition of deer
1 archaic : animal; especially : a small mammal
2 : any of numerous slender-legged ruminant mammals (family Cervidae, the deer family) having usually brownish fur and antlers borne by the males of nearly all and by the females of a few forms
deerlikeplay \-ˌlīk\ adjective
Did You Know?
The meaning of a word often develops from the general to the specific. For instance, deer is used in modern English to mean several related forms of an animal species, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. The Old English deor, however, could refer to any animal, tame or wild, or to wild animals in general. In time, deer came to be used only for wild animals that were hunted, and then for the red deer, once widely hunted in England. From that usage the term has spread to related animals, becoming somewhat more general again.
Origin and Etymology of deer
Middle English, deer, animal, from Old English dēor beast; akin to Old High German tior wild animal, Lithuanian dvasia breath, spirit
First Known Use: before 12th century
DEER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of deer for English Language Learners
: a large wild animal that has four long thin legs, brown fur, and antlers if male
DEER Defined for Kids
Definition of deer for Students
: a mammal that has cloven hoofs and in the male antlers which are often branched
Seen and Heard
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