Student Dictionary

3 entries found for quarry.
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Main Entry: 1quar·ry
Pronunciation: primarystresskwodotr-emacron, primarystresskwär-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural quarries
Etymology: Middle English querre "the part of a game animal given to the hounds," from early French cureie, quereie (same meaning), from cuir "skin, hide" (on which the animal parts were placed), from Latin corium (same meaning)
1 : an animal hunted as game or prey
2 : something sought or chased after
Word History The quarry a hunter chases is not related to the quarry that supplies building stones. The word for a hunter's quarry can be traced back to a ceremony that was once part of every successful hunt. The hounds used for chasing the game were rewarded after the kill by being allowed to eat part of the dead animal, which was given to them on a piece of hide. The French word for this hounds' share was cureie or quereie, which was borrowed into Middle English as querre. The word later came to be used for the live game animal itself. Now a quarry is anything that is pursued.

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