ter·​ri·​er | \ ˈter-ē-ər How to pronounce terrier (audio) , ˈte-rē- \

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

Illustration of terrier

Illustration of terrier

Examples of terrier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Another rescue dog, a beagle/terrier mix, helped soothe the ache after Mitty died. Washington Post, "Traveling through the pandemic in the company of dogs," 18 Dec. 2020 This small terrier-like dog was originally bred to be kept in stables to eliminate rodents, you may be told while standing six feet away. Washington Post, "Traveling through the pandemic in the company of dogs," 18 Dec. 2020 President Lyndon Johnson’s terrier mix, Yuki, was a rescue that was found by his daughter Luci at a Texas gas station. Ryan Rossotto, National Geographic, "Images to surprise and delight," 12 Nov. 2020 On Sunday evening at Orange County Convention Center, the terrier and herding groups were judged before moving on to the finale with the competition’s best dogs from each group lined up in a row. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "“Bourbon” the whippet wins Best in Show at AKC National Championship," 13 Dec. 2020 In spring 2006, Debbie King adopted a 1-year-old terrier mix from Pet Rescue of Maryland. Washington Post, "The name game: For these pets, inspiration came in many forms," 23 Nov. 2020 Alexander Graham Bell’s terrier helped the inventor with his early work. Courtney Sexton, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Most Famous Dogs of Science," 18 Nov. 2020 My mom was pulling the turkey out of the oven when our little terrier mix, Pepper, raced through the kitchen and under the open door on the stove. Cathy M. Rosenthal, ExpressNews.com, "Animals Matter: Horror tales of Thanksgiving going wrong for pets and tips to keep them safe," 19 Nov. 2020 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "The White House has been without dogs for four years – that's changing with Joe Biden," 8 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of terrier

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for terrier

Middle English terryer, terrer, from Anglo-French (chen) terrer, literally, earth dog, from terre earth, from Latin terra

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Time Traveler for terrier

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrier was in the 15th century

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Statistics for terrier

Last Updated

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrier. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for terrier



English Language Learners Definition of terrier

: a type of small dog originally used for hunting


ter·​ri·​er | \ ˈter-ē-ər How to pronounce terrier (audio) \

Kids Definition of terrier

: a usually small dog originally used by hunters to force animals from their holes

More from Merriam-Webster on terrier

Nglish: Translation of terrier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terrier

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