ter·ri·er | \ ˈter-ē-ər , 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

Many flow as feisty as an overcaffeinated terrier during rainy times and then lie around in sandy pajamas the rest of the year. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 Zsa Zsa bested a terrier with dreadlocks named Scamp to take home the win. Alix Langone, Time, "Zsa Zsa, The World's Ugliest Dog, Has Died Just 9 Days After Securing Her Title," 10 July 2018 Godín is a terrier on the backline, and will relish the challenge of silencing the home crowd. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "World Cup game times: Spain, Portugal look to win Group B, Russia-Uruguay to settle Group A," 24 June 2018 At least 14 German shepherds were scattered among the pit bull terriers, chihuahuas and others that occupied row after row of kennels, barking and gazing at visitors. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "Marijuana guard dogs strain animal shelter as illegal pot grows rise in Sacramento," 27 June 2018 Breeds were also divided into seven groups: sporting, hounds, working, terriers, toys, non-sporting, and herding. Matthew Dolan, Detroit Free Press, "Prized pooches pampered, praised at Detroit Kennel Club annual show," 24 June 2018 Scout, a 7-year-old Yorkie-terrier mix, was too excited to sit at all. New York Times, "Aisles of Dogs," 20 Mar. 2018 Lamby has been, hands down, the favorite and most loved by our small terrier mix. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Best Dog Toys, According to Happy Dogs," 11 July 2018 Another of Buckley’s beneficiaries at Home Free is Lexi, a tiny wire-haired terrier mix who survived being hit by a car. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Coming to the rescue: Newport resident’s dog food company starts nonprofit to get homeless dogs veterinary care," 7 July 2018

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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Statistics for terrier

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for terrier

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of terrier

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

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