from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A medium-to-large dog of a breed originating in Scotland as a sheepdog, having a long narrow muzzle and either a long thick straight coat or a short hard flat coat, depending on the variety.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various breeds of dog originating in Scotland and England as sheepdogs

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The Scotch shepherd dog. There are two breeds, the rough-haired and smooth-haired. It is remarkable for its intelligence, displayed especially in caring for flocks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sheep-dog; a variety of dog especially common in Scotland, much esteemed by shepherds and also by dog-fanciers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a silky-coated sheepdog with a long ruff and long narrow head developed in Scotland


Scots, perhaps variant of colly, like coal, from Middle English col, coal; see coal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps originally from coal, with reference to its colour. (Wiktionary)


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  • Albert Payson Terhune (December 21, 1872 – February 18, 1942) was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. He is best known for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies.

    His book, Lad: A Dog is perhaps his best known work and is about a magnificent sable and white rough coated collie.

    January 27, 2008

  • A sheepdog with very different appearance depending on whether it is a bearded, rough, or smooth collie. TV favorite "Lassie" (besides being a male dog) was a rough collie. Bearded collies look like Old English sheepdogs. Smooth collies look like Lassie joined the Marines and got a serious haircut.

    February 21, 2007