herd

noun
\ ˈhərd How to pronounce herd (audio) \

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 How to pronounce herdlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for herd

Synonyms: Noun

drove, flock

Synonyms: Verb

drive, punch, run

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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

The drop is partly the effect of farmers’ selling down existing pig stocks and holding back from expanding herds. ... WSJ, "Snout Rout: Chinese Pig Population Sinks and Pork Prices Climb," 17 Apr. 2019 But Charles Cameron, the herd’s primary veterinarian for 29 years, says he's seen nothing like the outbreak that began two years ago, which spiked significantly this past autumn. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Deadly 'Swamp Cancer' Has Killed Seven of the Famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies," 11 Jan. 2019 There was no shortcut back to camp — no easy way around the herd of buffalo. Andrew Evans, chicagotribune.com, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 Wilderness Safaris’ Linkwasha is the epitome of safari luxury, and it’s in the best game area of the park: warring lion prides, packs of wild dogs, cheetahs, and herds of elephant and buffalo everywhere. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 And at the same time, evidence suggests that those same hunters were burning patches of the prairie to spur the growth of fresh, tasty new grass in the gathering basins to lure in herds of hungry bison. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Native Americans managed the prairie for better bison hunts," 25 July 2018 All testing to date has shown Wisconsin wild elk in both herds to be free of CWD. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DNR killed elk last fall after it strayed into chronic wasting disease area," 18 May 2018 But hunters also support modifying practices if the health of the deer herd is in jeopardy, Stewart said. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "DNR : Ban deer feeding, baiting to combat 'zombie deer' disease," 8 June 2018 Wallenfang said the effects of 2017-'18 winter on the deer herd will be variable. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Late snow contributed to a 'very severe' winter in parts of northern Wisconsin," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Monday’s group wins at the Garden included Lucy the Borzoi (Hound group), Biggie the Pug (Toy), Slick the Border Collie (Herding) and Flynn (Non-herding). Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Flynn the Bichon Frise wins Westminster Kennel Club's Best in Show," 14 Feb. 2018 The first series of jaunts sees Bannon trying to herd the cats who are heading up Europe’s various extreme right-wing political parties into a kind of Justice League of jingoism. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "I Watched the New Steve Bannon Documentary, The Brink, So You Don’t Have To," 27 Mar. 2019 Some 50 million feet of timber are herded down 120 miles of the Clearwater River from Beaver Creek to the sawmill at Lewiston. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 Or maybe this whole situation is yet another piece of evidence that installing workers in an open-plan office builds camaraderie about as well as herding rats into an open-plan cage. Karla L. Miller, The Seattle Times, "How to deal with the office tattletale," 12 Dec. 2018 The results will help archaeologists understand why herding reached East Africa: because herders moved into the area, because local people adopted the practice, or a combination of both. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists explore East Africa’s ancient monumental cemeteries," 21 Aug. 2018 Like a herding rope, the plot unfolds in taut scenes juxtaposed with wonderful loops of description, flashback, and spare dialogue that occasionally swells into flashes of revelation, all of it grounded in a palpable sense of place. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "In Randy Kennedy’s Presidio, a Startling Road Trip Thriller Full of Twists and Turns," 17 Aug. 2018 The nearest neighbor was 50 miles away, and much of each day was spent on horseback herding sheep. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Jill Ker Conway, 83, author and first woman to serve as Smith College’s president," 2 June 2018 As politicians debated what to do, before dawn on Aug. 26, a desperate group of 59 men, eight women and four children from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria were herded into a refrigerated truck in southern Hungary. Marc Santora, New York Times, "They Let 71 People Die in a Stifling Truck. They Got 25 Years.," 14 June 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for herd

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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
: 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 How to pronounce herd (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on herd

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with herd

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for herd

Spanish Central: Translation of herd

Nglish: Translation of herd for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of herd for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about herd

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