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  1. greyhound.


or gray·hound

  1. one of a breed of tall, slender, short-haired dogs, noted for its keen sight and swiftness.
  2. a swift ship, especially a fast ocean liner.

Origin of greyhound

before 1000; Middle English greihund, grehund, grihund, Old English grīghund < Old Norse greyhundr; compare Old Norse grey bitch; see hound1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grayhound

Historical Examples

  • The foxhound is a cross of the bloodhound, the grayhound, the bulldog and the chump.

    Nye and Riley's Wit and Humor (Poems and Yarns)

    Bill Nye

  • Lightfoot—for that was the name of the other—was an English grayhound.

  • A lover to whom she had turned a deaf ear had left the country, begging ere he went her acceptance of a lovely Italian grayhound.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • He looked down like a compassionate mastiff upon a distressed Italian grayhound.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

  • I did so; and as he listened, I saw a tear fall on the beautiful head of the grayhound, whom he bent over to caress.

British Dictionary definitions for grayhound


  1. a tall slender fast-moving dog of an ancient breed originally used for coursing
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

Word Origin and History for grayhound



Old English grighund, from grig- "bitch" + hund "dog" (see hound (n.)). The name usually is said to have nothing to do with color, and most are not gray. The Old Norse form of the word is preserved in Hjalti's couplet that almost sparked war between pagans and Christians in early Iceland:

Vilkat goð geyja
grey þykkjumk Freyja

I will not blaspheme the gods,
but I think Freyja is a bitch
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper