American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several typically small, active breeds of hunting dog originally developed for driving game from burrows.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of several breeds of dogs, typically small, active, and hardy, named from their propensity to dig or scratch the ground in pursuit of their prey, and noted for their courage and the acute-ness of their senses. Terriers are of many strains, and occur in two leading forms, one of which is shaggy, as the Skye, and the other close-haired, as the black-and-tan. They are much used to destroy rats, and some are specially trained to rat-killing as a sport.
- n. In law: Formerly, a collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, including the rents and services they owed to the lord, etc.
- n. In modern usage, a book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, etc.
- n. A borer, auger, or wimble.
- n. A dog from a group of small, lively breeds, originally bred for the hunting of burrowing prey such as rabbits or foxes.
- n. law, historical A collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, containing the rents and services they owed to the lord, etc.
- n. law A book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, etc.; a terrar.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete An auger or borer.
- n. (Zoöl.) One of a breed of small dogs, which includes several distinct subbreeds, some of which, such as the Skye terrier and Yorkshire terrier, have long hair and drooping ears, while others, at the English and the black-and-tan terriers, have short, close, smooth hair and upright ears.
- n. Formerly, a collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, containing the rents and services they owed to the lord, and the like.
- n. In modern usage, a book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, or the like.
- n. any of several usually small short-bodied breeds originally trained to hunt animals living underground
- From Old French (Middle French) chien terrier "terrier dog", or literally "earth dog," from chien 'dog' + terrier (itself ultimately from Latin terra 'earth') (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French (chien) terrier, ground (dog), terrier, from Medieval Latin terrārius, of the earth, from Latin terra; see ters- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“When doggy men beyond ocean talk about a terrier, they usually pronounce it _tarrier_, and not _terrier_, as we mostly call him on this bank of the Atlantic.”
“It was an English scene, and the two men, the dog at their feet, (for Peter Dealtry favoured a wirey stone-coloured cur, which he called a terrier,) and just at the door of the little inn, two old gossips, loitering on the threshold in familiar chat with the landlady, in cap and kerchief, -- all together made a groupe equally”
“You start out with a goal, and a clear intention to pursue it -- aiming, let's say, for information on which kind of terrier is best with children -- and the next thing you know, you're engrossed in an online chat about Napolean Bonaparte.”
“If I couldn't get ten pounds for him, just like that, with a thank-you - ma'am, I'm a sucker that don't know a terrier from a greyhound.”
“Thereafter, when any cat came into view, the dog would retreat to his doghouse and, I suppose, peruse his collection of Playmutts (last month's centerfold, a fox terrier, is really hot by the way).”
“Suni Williams's Jack Russell terrier is named Gorby, perfect for a master who has spent months with Russian cosmonauts in orbit.”
“The Staffordshire bull terrier is homeless and potential new owners are put off by the two noses that it has.”
“By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, virtually every dog that you might call a terrier was an excited barker.”
“Then he called the terrier and set him upon his knee.”
“Rex also wanted to follow, but as Ross was afraid that he might jump at the kite and tear it with his teeth, though in play, he called the terrier back.”
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