1 of 2


: dog
: a dog of any of numerous hunting breeds including both scent hounds (such as the bloodhound and beagle) and sight hounds (such as the greyhound and Afghan hound)
: a mean or despicable person
: a person who pursues like a hound
especially : one who avidly seeks or collects something
autograph hounds


2 of 2


hounded; hounding; hounds

transitive verb

: to pursue with or as if with hounds
: to drive or affect by persistent harassing
hounder noun
Choose the Right Synonym for hound

bait, badger, heckle, hector, chivy, hound mean to harass by efforts to break down.

bait implies wanton cruelty or delight in persecuting a helpless victim.

baited the chained dog

badger implies pestering so as to drive a person to confusion or frenzy.

badgered her father for a car

heckle implies persistent annoying or belligerent interruptions of a speaker.

drunks heckled the stand-up comic

hector carries an implication of bullying and domineering.

football players hectored by their coach

chivy suggests persecution by teasing or nagging.

chivied the new student mercilessly

hound implies unrelenting pursuit and harassing.

hounded by creditors

Examples of hound in a Sentence

Noun in the yard an old hound greeted us with a single bark a camera hound even before the baby arrived, he's now become obsessive Verb He is being hounded by the press. They hounded me with questions. They hounded me for my autograph. hound a politician out of office See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The site also notes that the barking hound dogs are not included. EW.com, 14 Nov. 2023 Yet nebbish vinyl hounds always seem to have something obnoxious to say about the iconic brand. Ron Hart, SPIN, 8 Dec. 2023 Spike, an otherwise happy hound from South Carolina, found himself in a tight spot after the dog became stuck in his owner's dryer vent. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 5 Dec. 2023 The squishy sounds that ensue are vivid enough that your imagination fills in his fate, and just like that, today’s junior genre hounds have a new gateway film into horror. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2023 The women listened attentively, but the bar hounds said nothing more. Joy Williams, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 Earlier this spring, a pack of free-roaming hounds — identified as three Labrador mixes, two Queensland blue heelers and a husky — slaughtered a herd of goats and two sheep. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2024 Fortunately, local first responders were able to get the handsome hound out of the embarrassing situation with his dignity intact. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 7 Dec. 2023 Courtesy of Ferme Saint-Siméon Now locals walk their hounds on the butterscotch sand. Adam Erace, Fortune, 5 Dec. 2023
Schools are experiencing a double-bind moment: On the one hand, facing unprecedented drops in math and reading scores and lingering pandemic learning loss, they’re being hounded to double down on the basics. Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 On this blistering address to the scores of slick talk and rumors that have hounded her since the turn of the decade, Megan Thee Stallion delivers a masterclass in Dirty South s–t-talking realness. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 29 Jan. 2024 Of course, the very same institutional challenges that undercut their football success in the Pac-12 will hound the Bay Area schools in the ACC. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 13 Jan. 2024 Such a stretch was essential on a night when the Tritons were hounded by active UC Riverside defense. Ivan Carter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Jan. 2024 There’s no doubt that she was hounded, but the truth was that the security protocol for her was lacking, to say the very least. Brande Victorian, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Dec. 2023 Instead, poll after poll shows Biden, who will be 81 in November, locked in a close race with his most likely opponent, Donald Trump, and hounded by voter concerns about his advanced age and his ability to complete a second four-year term. Astead W. Herndon, New York Times, 10 Oct. 2023 And even then, nobody in management was hounding the team about downloads or ad sales. Ariel Shapiro, The Verge, 4 Jan. 2024 He was hounded for pictures and handed free beers at the St. Michael’s competition. Jason Nark Kent Nishimura, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English hund; akin to Old High German hunt dog, Latin canis, Greek kyōn

First Known Use


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


1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hound

Cite this Entry

“Hound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hound. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a dog of any of various hunting breeds having large drooping ears and a deep voice and following their prey by scent or sight


2 of 2 verb
: to pursue with or as if with hounds

More from Merriam-Webster on hound

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