terrier

noun
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 Animal: Christian, a 22-month-old Catahoula leopard dog-terrier blend. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pet of the week is Catahoula leopard dog-terrier blend," 22 Mar. 2021 The 2-year-old bulldog-terrier mix didn’t go far, however, and volunteers from Missing Dogs Massachusetts used chicken to lure Penney into a trap in Sullivan’s backyard the following evening. Cindy Cantrell, BostonGlobe.com, "Missing Dogs Massachusetts goes all-out to find lost pets," 12 Mar. 2021 In addition to his purebred Jack Russel terrier, Dangit, Schneider is often accompanied by Barnes. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Hard to get your head around': Over $40K has been raised to help a South Milwaukee business owner who has cancer," 1 Dec. 2020 At age 3, Mya, a rat terrier mix, had been left at an animal shelter. Marni Jameson, orlandosentinel.com, "Living with Pets, part 1: How to help your pet age in place," 5 Mar. 2021 For the first two months of the pandemic, Breckenridge quarantined alone in his Hamilton Heights apartment with his Wheaten terrier, Teddy. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Theater Notebook: Broadway veteran Breckenridge taking a song-filled pandemic break in Fallbrook," 16 Mar. 2021 In August 2019, Bill Warnock was driving a familiar route in his North Reading hometown when his 3-year-old terrier mix, Bailey, suddenly — and seemingly without provocation — jumped out the car window. Cindy Cantrell, BostonGlobe.com, "Missing Dogs Massachusetts goes all-out to find lost pets," 12 Mar. 2021 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Biden dogs are in Delaware while Jill Biden travels amid report of aggressive incident," 9 Mar. 2021 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about terrier

Time Traveler for terrier

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for terrier

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrier. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for terrier

terrier

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terrier

: a type of small dog originally used for hunting

terrier

noun
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

Comments on terrier

What made you want to look up terrier? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!