Student Dictionary

12 entries found for terrier. The first 10 are listed below.
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Main Entry: ter·ri·er
Pronunciation: primarystresster-emacron-schwar
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English terryer "a small dog used for hunting burrowing animals," from early French (chen) terrer, literally "earth dog," from terre "earth," derived from Latin terra (same meaning)
: any of various usually small energetic dogs originally used by hunters to drive game animals from their holes
Word History Today most terriers are kept as pets. However, there was a time when the dogs were widely used for hunting. Terriers are usually small dogs with short legs, and they were used to dig game animals such as foxes, badgers, and weasels out of their holes. The dogs were also trained to go into a hole after a game animal and drive it out. The French name for these dogs was chen terrer, meaning "earth dog." English borrowed only the word terrier, which can be traced back to Latin terra, meaning "earth."

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