far·​ri·​er ˈfer-ē-ər How to pronounce farrier (audio)
: a person who shoes horses

Did you know?

Farrier is now usually applied specifically to a blacksmith who specializes in shoeing horses, a skill that requires not only the ability to shape and fit horseshoes, but also the ability to clean, trim, and shape a horse's hooves. When farrier first appeared in English (as ferrour), it referred to someone who not only shoed horses, but who provided general veterinary care for them as well. Middle English ferrour was borrowed from the Anglo-French word of the same form, which referred to a blacksmith who shoes horses. That word derives from the verb ferrer ("to shoe horses"), which can ultimately be traced back to Latin ferrum, meaning "iron."

Examples of farrier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Queen offered a gentle pet during a clinic session with vets, farriers and handlers. 11 of 18 King Charles During his own solo stop on Wednesday, the King visited the Karura urban forest to highlight the crucial role of green spaces and forests in sustainable cities. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 Other anvils are designed for farriers–men and women who shoe horses and do hoof-care. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2023 For more on the farrier versus blacksmith anvil discussion, visit the Centaur Forge website. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2023 There were the huge drum horses, the farriers with glinting axes and the buglers. William Booth, Washington Post, 17 June 2023 Mantila is a qualified farrier. Marta Balaga, Variety, 18 Mar. 2022 These assessment fees are intended to cover services such as veterinary examinations and steward monitoring, and farrier pre-race examinations of horseshoes. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 8 Mar. 2023 Maka's father, Gary Brown, 37, a farrier from Draper, Utah, agrees. Cathy Free, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2022 Emily Mohring has been a professional pig farrier, akapig husk trimmer, for over 10 years. Maria Jimenez Moya, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'farrier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of Middle English ferrour, from Anglo-French ferrour blacksmith, from ferrer to shoe (horses), from Vulgar Latin *ferrare, from Latin ferrum iron

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of farrier was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near farrier

Cite this Entry

“Farrier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farrier. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on farrier

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!