shepherd

noun
shep·​herd | \ ˈshe-pərd How to pronounce shepherd (audio) \

Definition of shepherd

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who tends sheep
2 : pastor

shepherd

verb
shepherded; shepherding; shepherds

Definition of shepherd (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for shepherd

Synonyms: Verb

coach, counsel, guide, lead, mentor, pilot, show, tutor

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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: Noun

Ancient Greek legend held that a shepherd named Magnes first discovered the curious force when a stone pulled at his iron staff in an area of Greece then known as Magnesia. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Mesoamerican Sculptures Reveal Early Knowledge of Magnetism," 6 Aug. 2019 He is supposed to be a teacher and a shepherd to the faithful. Declan Leary, National Review, "What America Magazine Gets Wrong about the Mass," 24 July 2019 The scene along the river is quiet now, but fugitive Islamist militants are continuing to slip across the frontier into Iraq, often disguised as shepherds, at times undetected and with their destination unknown, according to security officials. Washington Post, "Hundreds of Islamic State militants are slipping back into Iraq. Their fight isn’t over.," 22 July 2019 Hell, why else would there be only 2% of farmers today when a century ago the majority of people woke up at a shepherd’s ungodly hours? Azamat Omuraliev, Quartz, "We should start working less now to mentally prepare ourselves for automation," 27 June 2019 He was heralded as a visionary who saw theatrical potential in the most unlikely subject matter and who helped shepherd to the forefront many unknown talents, many of them composers. Nelson Pressley | The Washington Post, oregonlive.com, "Harold Prince, Broadway impresario behind hits such as ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Cabaret,’ dies at 91," 31 July 2019 He was heralded as a visionary who saw theatrical potential in the most unlikely subject matter and who helped shepherd to the forefront unknown talents, many of them composers. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, "Harold Prince, consummate Broadway impresario, dies at 91," 31 July 2019 Streetwise and capable of wielding her shepherd’s staff like a kendo master, Bo still takes Woody’s breath away, but what hope is there for two toys adrift on the seas of fate? Kenneth Turan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Toy Story 4’ grows up but still keeps the joy of toys," 20 June 2019 Huseynov stared at his big, work-swollen shepherd’s hands splayed palm down on the worn tablecloth. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A storyteller chronicles the mass migrations that define our age," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The shepherd moons Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora and Prometheus, measuring between eight and 130 kilometers across, quite literally shepherd the ring particles, keeping them in their present orbits. Vahe Peroomian, The Conversation, "A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings," 14 Aug. 2019 For its part, the NRA maintains that Ackerman conceived and shepherded the idea to purchase the home for LaPierre and his wife, Susan. Mike Spies, ProPublica, "Document Shows NRA Money Helped Its Chief Search for a Personal Mansion," 8 Aug. 2019 Sure enough, Mr Bolsonaro recently shepherded through Brazil’s lower house a pension reform that is vital to the country’s fiscal stability. The Economist, "Why investors favour economically orthodox political strongmen," 27 July 2019 The shows she’s created and shepherded, from Weeds to Orange to GLOW, are about characters who find themselves outside of their orbits, thrust into new situations with unfamiliar people. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Prescience of Orange Is the New Black," 25 July 2019 Avant shepherded Jimmy Smith and Lalo Schifrin to storied careers, but when the latter’s desire to do film work took Avant to Hollywood, the sight of a black man handling a white artist was eye-opening, to say the least. Robert Abele, latimes.com, "Review: ‘The Black Godfather’ Clarence Avant and the art of wielding power with honor," 6 June 2019 Perhaps Wheelock’s most high-profile assignment was as Ventura’s chief fiscal negotiator who shepherded budget packages through four legislative sessions between 1999 and 2002. Bill Salisbury, Twin Cities, "Who is Pam Wheelock? Gov. Walz lands proven leader to temporarily lead DHS," 15 July 2019 This time, the amusing companions who shepherd the crown prince of the lions, Simba (Donald Glover), play a role not unlike Falstaff plays for Prince Hal, and Simba must learn to pull away from them. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Conservative Pride of The Lion King," 11 July 2019 Veteran music executive and talent manager Elliot Roberts, who shepherded the careers of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and numerous others for more than half a century, died Friday, a longtime associate confirmed to The Times. Randy Lewis, latimes.com, "Elliot Roberts, who managed Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, dies at 76," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shepherd.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of shepherd

Noun

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

Verb

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shepherd

Noun

Middle English sheepherde, from Old English scēaphyrde, from scēap sheep + hierde herdsman; akin to Old English heord herd

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shepherd

Statistics for shepherd

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shepherd

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shepherd

shepherd

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shepherd

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person whose job is to take care of sheep

shepherd

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shepherd (Entry 2 of 2)

: to guide (someone or something)

shepherd

noun
shep·​herd | \ ˈshe-pərd How to pronounce shepherd (audio) \

Kids Definition of shepherd

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who takes care of and guards a flock of sheep

shepherd

verb
shepherded; shepherding

Kids Definition of shepherd (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to take care of and guard a flock of sheep
2 : to gather, lead, or move in the manner of a shepherd She shepherded the children across the playground.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on shepherd

What made you want to look up shepherd? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!