1 of 2


: a typically large group of animals of one kind kept together under human control
a herd of cattle
: a congregation of gregarious wild animals
herds of antelopes
: a group of people usually having a common bond
a herd of tourists
: a large assemblage of like things
herds of cars
: the undistinguished masses : crowd
isolate the individual prophets from the herdNorman Cousins
herdlike adjective


2 of 2


herded; herding; herds

transitive verb

: to gather, lead, or drive as if in a herd (see herd entry 1 sense 1a)
herded the children into the car
: to keep or move (animals) together
dogs that are trained to herd sheep
: to place in a group
herd us with their kindred foolsJonathan Swift

intransitive verb

: to assemble or move in a herd (see herd entry 1)
herding onto the subway
: to place oneself in a group : associate
it is desirable that young noblemen should herdSir Walter Scott

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Entire bachelor herds and matriarchal herds are often killed all at once. Scott Haugen, Outdoor Life, 11 July 2024 According to the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium, the unnamed newborn and her parents are joined by other members of the location's herd, including 4-year-old Chandy and 2-year-old Alika. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 7 July 2024
Along the coasts of Spain and Italy, dolphins swim around fish farms to herd the fish that gather around floating rafts of mussels or shellfish. Jaimie Seaton, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 June 2024 But even after Corden and the other passengers were finally allowed to disembark, they also were herded into the wrong lines, prompting the entertainer and others to confront a British Airways employee, Metro reported. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for herd 

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

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


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


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near herd

Cite this Entry

“Herd.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herd. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a number of animals of one kind kept or living together
: the common people


2 of 2 verb
: to assemble or come together into a herd or group
: to gather, lead, or drive a herd
herd cattle
herder noun

More from Merriam-Webster on herd

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