Student Dictionary

11 entries found for deer. The first 10 are listed below.
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Main Entry: deer
Pronunciation: primarystressdi(schwa)r
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural deer
Etymology: Old English demacronor "wild animal, beast"
: any of a family of cloven-hoofed cud-chewing mammals (as an elk, a caribou, or a white-tailed deer) of which the males of almost all species have antlers while the females of only a few species do
Word History The meaning of a word often develops from the general to the specific. For instance, deer is used in modern English to mean several related forms, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. The Old English demacronor, however, could refer to any animal, tame or wild, or to wild animals in general. In time, deer came to be used only for wild animals that were hunted and then for the red deer, once widely hunted in England. From that usage the term has spread to related animals, becoming somewhat more general again.

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