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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ride herd on

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
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Word Origin and History for ride herd on

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for ride herd on

ride herd on

verb phrase

To keep someone or something under control; monitor and correct; manage: Chief Suarez hasn't been riding herd on his guys (1897+)


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.
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ride herd on in the Bible

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

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with ride herd on

ride herd on

Keep close watch or tight control over, as in Aunt Martha is always riding herd on her bridge club, making sure they follow the rules. This idiom alludes to the cowboy who rides around a herd of cattle to keep them together. [ Late 1800s ]

herd

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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5
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