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

Kai Hansen, owner of the terrier, named Pippa, told Australia's ABC Radio that the dog was performing her favorite trick for a group of onlookers at the Goat Island Lodge when the tragedy occurred. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Crocodile eats small dog that spent years chasing it back into river," 7 June 2018 Our mixed terrier Louie happily runs off with — and guards for hours — any biscuit offered. Cathy Barrow, The Seattle Times, "I bake for dogs, and they eat it up: recipes for DIY dog biscuits," 23 July 2018 But one, a small black-and-white terrier named Puna, jumped out. David Montero, latimes.com, "In Hawaii, life goes on under the volcano, even as it spews lava and threatens to explode," 13 May 2018 Dewey, a black-and- white terrier rescue, is now a frequent visitor at Uber offices across the nation. Carmel Deamicis, Marie Claire, "Meet Uber's Secret Weapon, Austin Geidt," 20 Jan. 2017 Later that afternoon the terrier is anesthetized and his still body disappears into the great machine. Amy Sutherland, BostonGlobe.com, "An experimental cancer treatment cured this dog. Could it work for people?," 16 May 2018 Here, Scott, though not a pet parent himself, answers a few questions on the capsule—and his (perhaps) future terrier. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Moschino and H&M Have A Few More Surprises In Store For Their November Drop. For One? Pet-Wear!," 9 Sep. 2018 Daily outdoor fun is a way of life for people with retrievers, terriers, spaniels, herding dogs and even plenty of dogs on the small side, who don’t seem to know they are considered part of the lapdog brigade. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Hiking or camping with your dogs? How to keep them safe," 11 July 2018 The dog’s breed wasn’t discussed during the hearing, but Goodlow’s arrest report indicates the dog was a pit bull terrier. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "$100K bail for man accused of beating, choking dog," 24 June 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

17 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on terrier

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terrier

Spanish Central: Translation of terrier

Nglish: Translation of terrier for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about terrier

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