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[kur] /kɜr/
a mongrel dog, especially a worthless or unfriendly one.
a mean, cowardly person.
Origin of cur
1175-1225; Middle English curre, apparently shortened from curdogge. See cur dog
Related forms
curlike, adjective
2. blackguard, cad, heel.


2. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cur
Historical Examples
  • It is a fool's plan to teach a man to be a cur in peace, and think that he will be a lion in war.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "You were always a cur and a traitor, Mark Shaw," cried Aylward.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Had he not once picked up a cur on such a stormy night as this?

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • In the village two people only, the cur and the garde champtre?

  • "That" was a kick that doubled the cur up against the settee.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • "It's cur'osity as is the mischief i' this world," said the drowsy-eyed countryman.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Perdition to the land where a man could not live unless he was a skunk or a cur.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • But you are learning, cur; you are learning by the pain of your fat carcase; is it not so, carrion?

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • The cur gravely salutes you as you pass by, "Bon jour, mon ami!"

  • The cur says that you have had more than your share of worldly vicissitudes.

British Dictionary definitions for cur


any vicious dog, esp a mongrel
a despicable or cowardly person
Word Origin
C13: shortened from kurdogge; probably related to Old Norse kurra to growl
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 cur

early 13c., curre, earlier kurdogge used of both vicious dogs and cowardly dogs, probably from Old Norse kurra or Middle Low German korren both echoic, both meaning "to growl." Cf. Swedish dialectal kurre, Middle Dutch corre "house dog."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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