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 Luckily, Cody, the Patriarcas' Labrador retriever, heard his sibling dog's screams and took action by scaring the coyote, causing the predator to drop the terrier from its mouth. Shafiq Najib, PEOPLE.com, 23 June 2022 At times Rylance’s Leonard has the eyes of an anxious terrier, wary and alert. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 18 Mar. 2022 Quinn, my own eight-pound chihuahua/terrier mix, was a rescue. Kirbie Johnson, Allure, 23 Feb. 2022 Jasmine Trinca’s Marcel!, which sees Alba Rohrwacher’s eccentric artist actually searching for her beloved performing terrier (called, of course, Marcel). Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2022 Archie, the 8-pound terrier, was off his leash, visiting other passengers in his train car, cheering them up, including the Salosalova family from the besieged port city of Mariupol. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Bella's story starts in Saginaw Country, Michigan, where a postal worker found the pit bull terrier painfully tangled up in her tether in a yard with no food, water, or shelter. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 4 Apr. 2022 In one awkward moment, the man-sized terrier managed to knock the mask right off his costume. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 10 Mar. 2022 Police found the Staffordshire terrier on Sylvia Drive. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Terrier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrier. Accessed 7 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for terrier


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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