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

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Illustration of terrier

Examples of terrier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Little, Old Dog The BCM has a taxidermized English terrier that died over 100 years ago. Charles Infosino, Cincinnati.com, "Check out the weirdest things you can find at Behringer-Crawford Museum," 18 July 2019 Also known as a Cane Corso, Italian mastiffs look like supersized pit bull terriers. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Will Aurora be the next Colorado city to ditch its unfair breed ban?," 11 July 2019 Canines put to the test Breeds will be judged in seven categories: sporting, hounds, working, terriers, toys, non-sporting, and herding. Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "2019 Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows in Novi: Here's what you need to know," 19 June 2019 Moore teamed up with Blue, a 4-year-old Great Dane and pit bull terrier mix, who also needed to shed some weight and who welcomed the companionship after his owner surrendered him to the Twinsburg shelter nearly a year ago. Robin Goist, cleveland.com, "Summit County shelter dog and volunteer get healthy together," 11 July 2019 The dogs were Minnie, a six-month-old Chihuahua; Kiara, a three-month-old shepherd; and Gruff, a six-month-old terrier mix, OCSO said. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Woman arrested after puppies left in hot car in Orange die: report," 3 July 2019 The rescue came after the couple had previously surrendered 30 terriers to local authorities, prosecutors said. Aaron Randle, New York Times, "188 Sickly Dogs Hoarded by a One-Time Top Breeder at Westminster," 12 June 2019 This time, though, our main hero terrier Max is voiced by Patton Oswalt, replacing the disgraced Louis CK. Mark Kennedy, Detroit Free Press, "‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ is a worthy sequel," 6 June 2019 Paco, 2, is a 60-pound neutered male American pitbull terrier mix. idahostatesman, "Ada County Pet of the Week: Paco | Idaho Statesman," 3 Apr. 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

15 Aug 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 How to pronounce terrier (audio) \

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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to shake or wave menacingly

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