follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

herd1

[hurd] /hɜrd/
noun
1.
a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together; drove; flock:
a herd of cattle; a herd of sheep; a herd of zebras.
2.
Sometimes Disparaging. a large group of people:
The star was mobbed by a herd of autograph seekers.
3.
any large quantity:
a herd of bicycles.
4.
the herd, the common people; masses; rabble:
He had no opinions of his own, but simply followed the herd.
verb (used without object)
5.
to unite or go in a herd; assemble or associate as a herd.
Idioms
6.
ride herd on, to have charge or control of; maintain discipline over:
He rode herd on 40 students in each class.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English; Old English heord; cognate with Gothic hairda, German Herde
Synonyms
1. See flock1 . 2. crowd, mob.
Usage note

herd2

[hurd] /hɜrd/
noun
1.
a herdsman (usually used in combination):
a cowherd; a goatherd; a shepherd.
verb (used with object)
2.
to tend, drive, or lead (cattle, sheep, etc.).
3.
to conduct or drive (a group of people) to a destination:
The teacher herded the children into the classroom.
Origin
before 900; Middle English herd(e), hirde, Old English hierde; cognate with Gothic hairdeis, German Hirt(e); derivative of herd1
Synonyms
2. guard, protect, watch.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for herd
  • But many newspapers have a surprisingly large, if dwindling, herd of paying customers.
  • If you have a shepherd, that shepherd wants to herd.
  • The lion approached the herd of gazelles slowly while hidden by a large termite mound.
  • For her doctoral dissertation, she developed a robotic shepherd capable of corralling a herd of twenty robots.
  • Keep herd sizes large enough to maintain the future health of the herds.
  • In this connection, it is helpful to refer to an important bit of economic theory about herd behavior.
  • The water hole is less than a mile away now, and everyone in the herd is looking forward to a good, long drink.
  • Every alp also has a resident herd of pigs-which generally don't make it into those alpine travel posters.
  • Waving hats and ropes, the riders whoop and holler as they bring the herd together.
  • It snapped, allowing the grateful elephant to head off after his herd.
British Dictionary definitions for herd

herd1

/hɜːd/
noun
1.
a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc
2.
(often derogatory) a large group of people
3.
(derogatory) the large mass of ordinary people
verb
4.
to collect or be collected into or as if into a herd
Word Origin
Old English heord; related to Old Norse hjörth, Gothic hairda, Old High German herta, Greek kórthus troop

herd2

/hɜːd/
noun
1.
  1. (archaic or dialect) a man or boy who tends livestock; herdsman
  2. (in combination) goatherd, swineherd
verb (transitive)
2.
to drive forwards in a large group
3.
to look after (livestock)
Word Origin
Old English hirde; related to Old Norse hirthir, Gothic hairdeis, Old High German hirti, Old Saxon hirdi, herdi; see herd1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for herd
n.

Old English heord "herd, flock," from Proto-Germanic *herdo- (cf. Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda "herd"), from PIE *kerdh- "a row, group, herd" (cf. Sanskrit śárdhah "herd, troop," Old Church Slavonic čreda "herd," Greek korthys "heap," Lithuanian kerdžius "shepherd"). Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1908.

v.

mid-13c., "to watch over or herd (livestock);" of animals, "to gather in a herd, to form a flock," late 14c., from herd (n.). Related: Herded; herding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for herd

herd

Related Terms

ride herd on someone


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
herd in the Bible

Gen. 13:5; Deut. 7:14. (See CATTLE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with herd
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for herd

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for herd

8
7
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with herd