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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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for curs
Historical Examples
  • You will have to fly like curs before the whips of your own men.

    Strife (First Series Plays) John Galsworthy
  • Now Heaven help a poor, deserted maid, who set her trust in curs!

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • Ask me to beat them off with a whip like a pack of curs, and I'll do it readily.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • "Collars, and curs to wear them," growled out Tony, under his breath.

    Sir Jasper Carew Charles James Lever
  • I keep my ambition in leash, and still and on they must be snapping like curs at Argile.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • “What a pack of curs we all were,” said Wraysford, almost as angry as his friend.

  • It'll save me a world of trouble in being polite to a lot of curs that I despise.

    The Red Acorn John McElroy
  • He turned neither to left nor right, nor heeded the barking of curs at his heels.

    Lives of the Engineers Samuel Smiles
  • Thus the intendants and the curs reproached each other by turns.

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • I could not restrain my laughter when I first scanned these curs in their fanciful coats.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for curs


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 curs



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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