Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various hoofed ruminant mammals of the family Cervidae, characteristically having deciduous antlers borne chiefly by the males. The deer family includes the white-tailed deer, elk, moose, and caribou.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any wild quadruped.
  • noun The general name of the solid-horned ruminants of the family Ccrvidœ, and especially of the genus Cervus. See these words.
  • noun A term loosely applied to the chevrotains, of the family Tragulidæ (which see), from their resemblance to musk-deer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Any animal; especially, a wild animal.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A ruminant of the genus Cervus, of many species, and of related genera of the family Cervidæ. The males, and in some species the females, have solid antlers, often much branched, which are shed annually. Their flesh, for which they are hunted, is called venison.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus, formerly Hesperomys leucopus) of America.
  • noun petty game, not worth pursuing; -- used metaphorically. (See citation from Shakespeare under the first definition, above.)

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete A beast, usually a quadruped as opposed to birds, fish, etc.
  • noun archaic (Esp. in phrase small deer) Any animal, especially a mammal.
  • noun zoology a ruminant mammal with antlers and hooves of the family Cervidae or one of several similar animals from related families of the order Artiodactyla
  • noun The meat of such an animal

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

  • noun distinguished from Bovidae by the male's having solid deciduous antlers

Etymologies

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

[Middle English der, beast, from Old English dēor.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English deere, dere, der, dier, deor ("small animal, deer"), from Old English dēor, dīor ("an animal, beast, any sort of wild animal, wild beast; deer, reindeer"), from Proto-Germanic *deuzan (“animal”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeusóm (“living thing”), from *dʰeus (“breath”), full-grade derivative of *dʰu̯ésmi. Cognate with Scots dere, deir ("deer"), North Frisian dier ("animal, beast"), West Frisian dier ("animal, beast"), Dutch dier ("animal, beast"), Low German Deer, Deert ("animal"), German Tier ("animal, beast"), Swedish djur ("animal, beast"), Icelandic dýr ("animal, beast"). Related also to Albanian dash ("ram"), Lithuanian daũsos ("upper air; heaven"), Lithuanian dùsti ("to sigh"), Russian душа (dušá, "breath, spirit"), Lithuanian dvėsti ("to breath, exhale"), Russian  (dvochat', "to cough"), Sanskrit  (dhvaṁsati, "he falls to dust"). For semantic development compare Latin animalis ("animal"), from anima ("breath, spirit").

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Reed in reverse.

    July 22, 2007