one of a breed of small hounds having long ears, short legs, and a usually black, tan, and white coat.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beagle (ˈbiːɡəl)
1.  a small sturdy breed of hound, having a smooth dense coat usually of white, tan, and black; often used (esp formerly) for hunting hares
2.  archaic a person who spies on others
3.  (intr) to hunt with beagles, normally on foot
[C15: of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., possibly from Fr. becguele "noisy person," lit. "gaping throat," from bayer "open wide" (see bay (2)) + gueule "mouth."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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