Definition of terrier
: any of various usually small energetic dogs originally used by hunters to dig for small game and engage the quarry underground or drive it out
Recent Examples of terrier from the Web
Each layer reacts to progressively more abstract features, allowing the final layer to distinguish, say, terrier from dachshund.
A woman in her 70s is recovering after being attacked by a pit bull terrier Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Animal Services officers first learned of Spunik, a 14-year-old terrier mix, after a good Samaritan rescued the dog on June 5 from outside a home in the 4100 block of Walnut Avenue.
Libre, a Boston terrier, was found starving, covered in mange and left for dead at an Amish dog-breeding farm in Lancaster County in 2016.
Dog breeds with the highest prevalence of obesity are Labrador Retrievers, Cairn Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels, the researchers report.
Kingston, the black terrier who has stretched out beside me, is the first dog Beisner ever trained.
At one point, the family realized their two small dogs — Toby, a long-haired dachshund, and Fauna, a chihuahua-terrier mix — had been left in the side yard, almost directly below the colony.
When our pet terrier, Wally, had surgery, dozens of other dogs sent him messages of encouragement.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrier'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of terrier
Middle English terryer, terrer, from Anglo-French (chen) terrer, literally, earth dog, from terre earth, from Latin terra
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
TERRIER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of terrier for English Language Learners
: a type of small dog originally used for hunting
TERRIER Defined for Kids
Definition of terrier for Students
: a usually small dog originally used by hunters to force animals from their holes
History for terrier
Terriers were first used in hunting. Their job was to dig for small animals and force them from their holes. The word terrier comes from a medieval French phrase chen terrer (or chien terrier), literally, “earth dog.” The terr- in terrier comes ultimately from Latin terra, “earth.”
Seen and Heard
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