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[bee-guh l] /ˈbi gəl/
one of a breed of small hounds having long ears, short legs, and a usually black, tan, and white coat.
Origin of beagle
1490-1500; perhaps < Middle French beegueule one who whines insistently, equivalent to bee, 3rd person singular of beer to be open, gape (by-form of bayer (see bay2) + gueule mouth (of an animal); see gullet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beagle
  • They frequently curl up together, and the beagle also goes to her for tongue baths.
  • beagle has been a healthy scratch for the past five contests.
  • She had the solid tan color of a terrier, but the body shape of a beagle.
  • Temperament the beagle has an even temper and gentle disposition.
British Dictionary definitions for beagle


a small sturdy breed of hound, having a smooth dense coat usually of white, tan, and black; often used (esp formerly) for hunting hares
(archaic) a person who spies on others
(intransitive) to hunt with beagles, normally on foot
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beagle

late 15c., of unknown origin, possibly from French becguele "noisy person," literally "gaping throat," from bayer "open wide" (see bay (n.2)) + gueule "mouth" (see gullet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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