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

Managing large herds efficiently would be difficult, perhaps even impossible, without the latest advances in computing and automation. Smithsonian, "This Connecticut Farm Is Milking Cows for Data," 11 July 2018 Kentucky’s Rocky Mountain herd now numbers about 11,000, the largest population (pdf) in any state east of the Mississippi. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 The disease has been linked to herd-level population declines of deer and elk in Wyoming and Colorado. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Baiting and feeding bans initiated due to CWD-positive deer farm in Marinette County," 6 July 2018 Located at 3380 Beaver Road, the park is known for its indoor and outdoor exhibits of fossils, a bison herd that is viewable daily, hiking trails and camping. Nancy Daly, Cincinnati.com, "Fish moved from lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site," 4 July 2018 Since the end of the Ice Age, reindeer herds have grazed across northern Scandinavia happily unaware of the rise of the nation state. Author: Sveinung Sleire, Rafaela Lindeberg, Anchorage Daily News, "Reindeer ignoring borders have Norway locking antlers with Sweden," 30 June 2018 While some herds are recovering, a high rate of killing continues in many areas, such as Mozambique’s Niassa reserve. Washington Post, "Giant crackdown against wildlife crime in 92 countries," 20 June 2018 The family of the late Tempel Smith, who brought a Lipizzan herd to the U.S. in 1958, is preparing for another season of performances by the dancing horses. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "'It's a labor of love': Tempel Farms celebrates 60 years of raising and training Lipizzans," 15 June 2018 The release also states the unit’s herd is getting old with an average age of about 15. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD Mounted Patrol mourns the loss of 'Colonel,' a six-year veteran horse," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Trying to flee, they were herded toward checkpoints that jurors this week heard described in terrifying detail. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "'The only good Krahn man is a dead Krahn man': How culpable is Delco resident for ethnic atrocities in Liberia?," 22 June 2018 By the time they are done, 36 fathers will be arrested, and 86 women and 263 children, many of them crying, will be herded onto buses and shipped hundreds of miles away, where some of the children will be placed in foster care. John D'anna, azcentral, "Think child separations are unprecedented? Here are 3 heartbreaking examples from history," 21 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

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

16 Sep 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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