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[hurdz-muh n] /ˈhɜrdz mən/
noun, plural herdsmen.
a herder; the keeper of a herd, especially of cattle or sheep.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Boötes.
Origin of herdsman
1595-1605; herd1 + 's1 + -man; compare earlier herdman, Middle English hird-man, Old English hyrdemann Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for herdsman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bullock that is dead is dead, but a herdsman watches that the other bullocks do not also die from the same thing.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • Another general term for a herdsman was Looker, whence Luker.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • In dairy work the individual preferences of the cows are given attention and their whimsy catered to by the herdsman.

    The Dollar Hen Milo M. Hastings
  • Ere this have I been wild with love for a herdsman on Phrygian hills.

    The Tinted Venus F. Anstey
  • The herdsman's ditty hast thou heard, doubtless; he heedeth thy herds above on the hills there.

    Tristan and Isolda Richard Wagner
  • I have it from a herdsman who came from the country beyond Tubac.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
  • Then I thought you would be a herdsman, but I found the cattle lowing to be milked while you roamed the forest with your dog.

    Rescue Dog of the High Pass James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • It represents a group of cattle, and a herdsman watching them.

    Ariadne Florentina John Ruskin
  • A herdsman, tending kine in a forest, lost a Bull-calf from the fold.

British Dictionary definitions for herdsman


noun (pl) -men
(mainly Brit) a person who breeds, rears, or cares for cattle or (rarely) other livestock in the herd US equivalent herder
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 herdsman

Old English heordman, but the word was not common until herd (Old English hierde) in sense "keeper of domestic animals which go in herds" fell from use (cf. shepherd). See herd (n.) + man (n.). Intrusive -s- appeared early 15c., on model of craftsman, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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herdsman in the Bible

In Egypt herdsmen were probably of the lowest caste. Some of Joseph's brethren were made rulers over Pharaoh's cattle (Gen. 47:6, 17). The Israelites were known in Egypt as "keepers of cattle;" and when they left it they took their flocks and herds with them (Ex. 12:38). Both David and Saul came from "following the herd" to occupy the throne (1 Sam. 9; 11:5; Ps. 78:70). David's herd-masters were among his chief officers of state. The daughters also of wealthy chiefs were wont to tend the flocks of the family (Gen. 29:9; Ex. 2:16). The "chief of the herdsmen" was in the time of the monarchy an officer of high rank (1 Sam. 21:7; comp. 1 Chr. 27:29). The herdsmen lived in tents (Isa. 38:12; Jer. 6:3); and there were folds for the cattle (Num. 32:16), and watch-towers for the herdsmen, that he might therefrom observe any coming danger (Micah 4:8; Nah. 3:8).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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