Definitions

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

  • n. One of a breed of hounds with a smooth coat, drooping ears, sagging jowls, and a keen sense of smell.
  • n. Informal A relentless pursuer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large scenthound famed for its ability to follow a scent many days old, over vast distances. This dog is often used as a police dog to track missing people, fleeing suspects, or escaped prisoners.
  • n. A detective or other person skilled at finding people or clues.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A breed of large and powerful dogs, with long, smooth, and pendulous ears, and remarkable for acuteness of smell. It is employed to recover game or prey which has escaped wounded from a hunter, and for tracking criminals. Formerly it was used for pursuing runaway slaves. Other varieties of dog are often used for the same purpose and go by the same name. The Cuban bloodhound is said to be a variety of the mastiff.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A variety of dog with long, smooth, and pendulous ears, remarkable for the acuteness of its smell, and employed to recover game or prey which has escaped, tracing a wounded animal by the blood it has spilled (whence its name), or by any other effluvium or halitus left on a trail which it follows by scent.
  • n. Figuratively, a man who hunts for blood; a relentless persecutor.

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

  • n. a breed of large powerful hound of European origin having very acute smell and used in tracking

Etymologies

From Middle English blodhound, blodhond, equivalent to blood +‎ hound. Cognate with Dutch bloedhond ("bloodhound"), Middle Low German blōthunt ("bloodhound"), German Bluthund ("bloodhound"), Danish blodhund ("bloodhound"), Swedish blodhund ("bloodhound"). The detective sense follows from the dog's ability to follow a trail. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • LYNCH: Well, the bloodhound has been a great resource for us, and has tracked multiple scents.

    CNN Transcript Jun 24, 2005

  • The bloodhound was an amiable fellow, not half as bright as Bingle, but nevertheless excellent at his work.

    Eighteen

  • It was natural, of course, that he should be called a bloodhound; and it did not occur to any one in Regina that his height, his fleetness, and his shaggy black and iron-gray coat were anything but typical of the bloodhound.

    Jan A Dog and a Romance

  • Her husband said nothing, and began to talk of something else; but the next morning he ordered his horse, took his spear, called his bloodhound, and set off for the castle.

    The Brown Fairy Book

  • I was born with the olfactory powers of a bloodhound, which is a blessing at fine restaurants but not in the city of Sulaimani, or Suli, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

    City Journal

  • Just let your "bloodhound" use Google Jobs are out there!

    GOP says even bloodhounds can't find stimulus jobs

  • Van der Walt, who described himself as a "bloodhound," was in the witness box for 16 days.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • And in a room that was quiet and sunny, working with a little complacent pucker of the lips occasionally, or raising his eyebrows and adjusting his spectacles in a pause of doubt, he looked anything but sinister, anything but the traditional "bloodhound" on the train in a man-hunt.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

  • Van der Walt, who described himself as a "bloodhound" to Judge

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Some because they are drawn by the fine lure of adventure and the urge of the restless spirit, some because they are driven by that bloodhound which is the law.

    Wolf Breed

Comments

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  • "I pulled on some clothes and went downstairs. There was a gaunt man with lugubrious features standing on the doorstep. He looked as close to a bloodhound as one can get without actually having a tail and barking."
    - Jasper Fforde, 'Lost In A Good Book'.

    November 24, 2008