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

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

Then all of sudden, a small herd of horses crossed the road ahead. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Great American Road Trip, in Photos," 9 Aug. 2018 Cutting horses at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo showed off their moves Friday morning, isolating a single heifer from a small herd of cattle and blocking its path to rejoin the group. Andrew Kragie, Houston Chronicle, "How does a pony wear its tail at Houston rodeo?," 2 Mar. 2018 For instance, some parks will take large vegetables to feed to herds of bison. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin," 24 Jan. 2019 In 2008, Chrysler executives donned cowboy hats to help drive a herd of cattle through the streets of downtown Detroit to introduce a new Ram truck model. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "Slush, Snow, the ‘Cobo Cough.’ Detroit Holds Its Last Winter Auto Show," 13 Jan. 2019 Before June 2018, they had not been seen in the area for over a century, but a herd of 31 of them were released in the park this past June. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 19 Best Places to Travel in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019 During our two night stay, we are roused in the middle of the night by a hippo very keen on splashing just beyond our deck, and visited by a roving herd of elephants, one of whom practically greets us at our front door after our morning game drive. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 Also just ten miles from Nairobi: the Giraffe Centre, set on a 60-acre sanctuary with a herd of Rothschild giraffe that eat right out of the palm of your hand. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Flight Might Be the Best New Way to Visit Africa," 8 Nov. 2018 Shoppers can choose from the additional furniture set, which includes a beautiful soaking tub, the outdoor accessories set, complete with a pool, or the barn set that comes with a herd of animals. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines' New Dollhouse Will Be Target's Most Popular Christmas Gift This Year," 1 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Cattle are herded into a sale arena at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Washington Post, "Drought, wildfires force ranchers to scramble for feed," 24 Apr. 2018 Women and children were herded into a drainage ditch and slaughtered. Fox News, "50 years ago, the My Lai massacre shamed the US military," 15 Mar. 2018 All of the dogs were Samoyeds, a breed of large herding dog with a thick, white, double-layer coat famous for herding reindeer in Siberia, and ranged in age from young puppies to nine years old. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Over 160 Dogs and Puppies Were Rescued From an Iowa Puppy Mill With the ASPCA's Help," 15 Nov. 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

18 Feb 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 \

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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