noun, plural deer (occasionally) deers.
any of several ruminants of the family Cervidae, most of the males of which have solid, deciduous antlers.
any of the smaller species of this family, as distinguished from the moose, elk, etc.

before 900; Middle English der, Old English dēor beast; akin to Gothic dius beast, Old High German tior Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To deer
World English Dictionary
deer (dɪə)
n , pl deer, deers
1.  any ruminant artiodactyl mammal of the family Cervidae, including reindeer, elk, muntjacs, and roe deer, typically having antlers in the maleRelated: cervine
2.  (in N Canada) another name for caribou
Related: cervine
[Old English dēor beast; related to Old High German tior wild beast, Old Norse dӯr]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. deor "animal, beast," from P.Gmc. *deuzan, the general Gmc. word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (cf. O.N. dyr, O.H.G. tior, Ger. Tier, Goth. dius), from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from *dheus- (cf. Lith. dusti "gasp," dvesti "gasp, perish;" O.C.S.
dychati "breathe;" cf. L. animal from anima "breath"), from base *dheu-. Sense specialization to a specific animal began in O.E. (usual O.E. for what we now call a deer was heorot), common by 15c., now complete. Probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (cf. Skt. mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). Deer-lick is first attested 1778, in an American context; deerskin is from 1396.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Reservations for salmon angling and deer hunting are gobbled up long before
  those seasons are under way.
It probably also helps to grow big enough to get beyond the reach of browsing
We should probably do something about it rather than curse the deer for their
Besides, at the time there was also growing concern that showing a tiger
  chasing a deer might be a bad idea.
Images for deer
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature