1 of 2


shep·​herd ˈshe-pərd How to pronounce shepherd (audio)
: a person who tends sheep
: pastor


2 of 2


shepherded; shepherding; shepherds

transitive verb

: to tend as a shepherd
: to guide or guard in the manner of a shepherd
shepherded the bill through Congress

Examples of shepherd in a Sentence

Verb She carefully shepherded the children across the street. They shepherded the bill through Congress.
Recent Examples on the Web
For the dogs that do appear on Instagram, her more than 100,000 followers share them far and wide, to Oregon for instance, where a family saw a post and hopped on a plane just hours later to save a German shepherd named Brenda. Michelle Madden, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Upon arrival, members of Ladder 4 and Battalion 2 discovered Monroe, a German shepherd who had dropped through the ice about 75 yards from the lake shore while chasing ducks, the post stated. Benjamin Collins,, 21 Jan. 2024 First the Bedouin shepherd family spotted the truck, then the five armed men dressed in white. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Jan. 2024 The continuing resolution was needed to give lawmakers more time to translate the deal into legislative text and shepherd it through both chambers. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 19 Jan. 2024 German Shepherds German shepherds, on the other hand, have been bred in recent decades to have increasingly sloped backs so their shoulders are much higher than their hips. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 There’s Steve Bruner, a candidate for principal chief whose living room features two large-scale Andy Warhol-style paintings of his own German shepherd. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2023 Entranced by Rafik’s feat, a nameless young shepherd (Samer Bisharat) chooses to follow him, like a disciple of sorts. Peter Debruge, Variety, 2 Dec. 2023 The German shepherds wouldn’t be quartered in the beach house; rather, the shabby but invaluable property would be sold, the proceeds going to an organization that had to be fraudulent, unlicensed, a figment of her father’s imagination. Joy Williams, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024
Headed to retirement in his hometown of Cheshire, England, Buchanan will remain at Los Gatos High until the end of the 2023-24 academic year and will shepherd in his replacement once they are selected by March or April. Isha Trivedi, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 Off the court, the former Stanford star has shepherded the league through major growth in viewership and popularity as the president of the players association. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 25 Jan. 2024 The historic project comes after decades of organizing and petitioning, often led and shepherded by local tribes. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Jan. 2024 When an American writer gets shot, Edith agrees to shepherd his finished manuscript to publication. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Jan. 2024 Looking ahead, the lengthy list of specials and events will continue to grow, shepherded by Allen’s ambition and intention. Zoe Hewitt, Variety, 14 Dec. 2023 Director Whitney White shepherds a cast featuring Dominique Thorne, Zenzi Williams and Brittany Adebumola through all the delightful, uh, head-to-head dust-ups. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 4 Dec. 2023 Stewart spent much of his career as a malt master, shepherding to maturity whiskies laid down by his predecessor, Hamish Robertson. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 30 Nov. 2023 Fuller, who has shepherded a number of successful series over the past two-plus decades, was brought in as an executive producer at Wineman’s behest, according to those involved with the project. Tatiana Siegel, Variety, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shepherd.' 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 sheepherde, from Old English scēaphyrde, from scēap sheep + hierde herdsman; akin to Old English heord herd

First Known Use


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


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near shepherd

Cite this Entry

“Shepherd.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
shep·​herd ˈshep-ərd How to pronounce shepherd (audio)
: a person who takes care of sheep


2 of 2 verb
: to care for as or as if a shepherd

More from Merriam-Webster on shepherd

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