1 [ter-ee-er]

1400–50; < Middle French, short for chien terrier literally, dog of the earth (< Medieval Latin terrārius; see terra, -ier2); so called because used to start badgers from their burrows; replacing late Middle English terrere < Anglo-French (see -er2)

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2 [ter-ee-er]
noun Law.
a book or document in which are described the site, boundaries, acreage, tenants, etc., of certain lands.

1470–80; < Middle French, short for registre terrier register of land (< Medieval Latin terrārius; see terra, -ier2); replacing earlier terrere < Anglo-French (see -er2


noun, plural terries.
the loop formed by the pile of a fabric when left uncut.
Also called terry cloth. a pile fabric, usually of cotton, with loops on both sides, as in a Turkish towel.
made of such a fabric: a terry bathrobe.
having the pile loops uncut: terry velvet.

1775–85; perhaps variant of terret

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World English Dictionary
terrier1 (ˈtɛrɪə)
any of several usually small, active, and short-bodied breeds of dog, originally trained to hunt animals living underground
[C15: from Old French chien terrier earth dog, from Medieval Latin terrārius belonging to the earth, from Latin terra earth]

terrier2 (ˈtɛrɪə)
English legal history a register or survey of land
[C15: from Old French, from Medieval Latin terrārius of the land, from Latin terra land]

Terrier (ˈtɛrɪə)
informal a member of the British Army's Territorial and Volunteer Reserve

terry (ˈtɛrɪ)
n , pl -ries
1.  an uncut loop in the pile of towelling or a similar fabric
2.  a.  a fabric with such a pile on both sides
 b.  (as modifier): a terry towel
[C18: perhaps variant of terret]

Terry (ˈtɛrɪ)
1.  Dame Ellen. 1847--1928, British actress, noted for her Shakespearean roles opposite Sir Henry Irving and for her correspondence with George Bernard Shaw
2.  (John) Quinlan (ˈkwɪnlən). born 1937, British architect, noted for his works in neoclassical style, such as the Richmond riverside project (1984)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1440, from O.Fr. chien terrier "terrier dog," lit. "earth dog," from M.L. terrarius "of earth," from L. terra "earth" (see terrain). So called because the dogs pursue their quarry (foxes, badgers, etc.) into their burrows.

"loop raised in pile-weaving, left uncut," 1784, possibly an alteration of Fr. tiré "drawn," from pp. of tirer "draw out" (cf. cognate Ger. gezogener Sammet "drawn velvet").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
terry cloth
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
We had a little terrier and some of the rats were bigger than the dog.
On one moonlight night three wolves came round the stable, and the terrier sallied out promptly.
My bull terrier jumping into the swimming pool to recover her tennis ball.
For several minutes, the wolves performed a duet, whimpering as my terrier would in-between howls.
Image for terrier
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