• synonyms


or sheep dog

[sheep-dawg, -dog]
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  1. a dog trained to herd and guard sheep.

Origin of sheepdog

First recorded in 1765–75; sheep + dog
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sheep-dog

Historical Examples

  • She was followed by a sheep-dog, small and wiry as a hill-fox.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • A sheep-dog was stretched at full length before the slumbering fire.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • No man could act as sheep-dog for Royalty and retain skill as a detective.

    The Hand in the Dark

    Arthur J. Rees

  • He urged me towards the outside of the station like a sheep-dog hazing his flock.

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • Smart was a sheep-dog that belonged to a Mr. Scott, who lived in Scotland.

British Dictionary definitions for sheep-dog


  1. Also called: shepherd dog a dog used for herding sheepSee Border collie
  2. any of various breeds of dog reared originally for herding sheepSee Old English sheepdog, Shetland sheepdog
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 sheep-dog


1774, from sheep (n.) + dog (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper