herd

noun
\ˈhərd \

Definition of herd 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a typically large group of animals of one kind kept together under human control a herd of cattle

b : a congregation of gregarious wild animals herds of antelopes

2a(1) : a group of people usually having a common bond a herd of tourists

(2) : a large assemblage of like things herds of cars

b : the undistinguished masses : crowd isolate the individual prophets from the herd— Norman Cousins

herd

verb
herded; herding; herds

Definition of herd (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to gather, lead, or drive as if in a herd (see herd entry 1 sense 1a) herded the children into the car

b : to keep or move (animals) together dogs that are trained to herd sheep

2 : to place in a group herd us with their kindred fools— Jonathan Swift

intransitive verb

1 : to assemble or move in a herd (see herd entry 1) herding onto the subway

2 : to place oneself in a group : associate it is desirable that young noblemen should herd— Sir Walter Scott

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Other Words from herd

Noun

herdlike \ˈhərd-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of herd in a Sentence

Noun

The herd grazed peacefully in the pasture. A herd of shoppers waited anxiously for the store to open.

Verb

The horses were herded into the corral. We left the hotel and were herded onto a bus. They herded the students into the auditorium. The commuters herded onto the train.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to a 1745 report, the mission maintained large herds of cattle, sheep, goats, horses and oxen, but early settlers complained that the animals were trampling their crops. Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle, "The remarkable Ana Maria Calvillo: She could ride, shoot, ranch and live in peace with the Indians," 29 June 2018 In a preview to the show, Galante is seen riding around in an airboat at night using drones equipped with thermal cameras to pick up on heat signatures of a herd of deer and a looming predator (the black panther?). Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Animal Planet's 'Extinct or Alive' heads to the Everglades in search of black panther," 27 June 2018 But a large herd of elephants found still-green grasses along the railway line that crosses through the forest. National Geographic, "Can Bees Help Save Elephants From Train Strikes?," 20 June 2018 With average herds of 92 cows, that’s nearly $1.3 million for each farming operation. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky dairy farmers face devastation as milk market runs dry," 23 May 2018 The ultimate goal — which could take decades — is to create a herd of five to 15 northern white rhinos that would be returned to their natural habitat in Africa. Time, "A Pregnant Rhino in San Diego Could Help Save a Related Subspecies," 19 May 2018 Along with horses carrying boxed bear and wolf cubs, foxes and fishers, Adams and his men drove a herd of six bears, four deer, four wolves, four antelope, two elk and a small dog the Indian chief had given Adams. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 Her most notorious achievement on the island was blinding a herd of cows, supposedly as a protest against the meat industry. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018 Now its pipes are bursting, pumps are failing and a small herd of cattle grazes at the bottom of the Mariposa reservoir outside the city, feeding on grass that should be deep underwater. Scott Smith, Fox News, "Venezuela's wealthy beat water crisis drilling private wells," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Burgeoning shepherds can take classes on breeding, raising, herding and husbandry. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "Agriturismo, American style: 8 farm and food experiences in the USA," 15 June 2018 But Fast Company wonders, do these conferences provide safe spaces for attendees or herd them into pink silos? Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "A guide to Mexican South Philly, the Eagles' unusual draft | Morning Newsletter," 30 Apr. 2018 Two lanes of the interstate had to be shut down as the police herded the wayward birds, backing up traffic for miles, WCAU reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Peacocks on the loose snarl Philadelphia traffic," 31 May 2018 Getting your gang to listen can feel like herding sheep when emotions are running high. Marissa Miller, Teen Vogue, "How to Take the Best Prom Photos," 27 Apr. 2018 Sheets of gray/green water exploded as the pair herded a school of fish and pinned their prey in the shallows, where escape routes were limited. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Bay food chain comes to life with tide change," 14 Apr. 2018 Daily outdoor fun is a way of life for people with retrievers, terriers, spaniels, herding dogs and even plenty of dogs on the small side, who don’t seem to know they are considered part of the lapdog brigade. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Hiking or camping with your dogs? How to keep them safe," 11 July 2018 Roosevelt lived the cowboy life, spending days riding and herding in what was considered America's last frontier. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 Bertha is her fourth Flyball racer; her first was an Australian Shepherd, a breed of herding dog known for its friskiness. Jennifer A. Kingson, New York Times, "A Competitive Team Sport. For Your Dog.," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herd.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of herd

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for herd

Noun

Middle English, from Old English heord; akin to Old High German herta herd, Middle Welsh cordd troop, Lithuanian kerdžius shepherd

Verb

see herd entry 1

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Learn More about herd

Phrases Related to herd

the herd

Statistics for herd

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herd

The first known use of herd was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for herd

herd

noun

English Language Learners Definition of herd

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of animals that live or are kept together

: a large group of people

the herd : common people : people as a group

herd

verb

English Language Learners Definition of herd (Entry 2 of 2)

: to gather and move (a group of animals)

: to move (people) in a group

: to form a group or move as a group

herd

noun
\ˈhərd \

Kids Definition of herd

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a number of animals of one kind kept or living together a herd of cows

herd

verb
herded; herding

Kids Definition of herd (Entry 2 of 2)

: to gather and move as a group herd cattle

Other Words from herd

herder \ˈhərd-ər \ noun

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Comments on herd

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