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shepherd

[shep-erd]
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noun
  1. a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
  2. a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.
  3. a member of the clergy.
  4. the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
  5. sheepdog.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to tend or guard as a shepherd: to shepherd the flock.
  2. to watch over carefully.
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Origin of shepherd

before 1050; Middle English shepherde, Old English scēphyrde. See sheep, herd2
Related formsshep·herd·less, adjectiveshep·herd·like, adjectiveun·der·shep·herd, nounun·shep·herd·ed, adjectiveun·shep·herd·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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2. protector, guardian, defender, keeper.

Shepherd

[shep-erd]
noun
  1. a male given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shepherd

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The doctor is nearing them rapidly; they can imagine the shepherd's tartan.

  • One of the months in the "Shepherd's Calendar" is composed in it.

    A Dish Of Orts

    George MacDonald

  • But, oh, shepherd, what avails it to live in hopeless misery?

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • Grief is not an inmate of the plain; the hours of the shepherd are sped in gaiety and mirth.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • You too are young and uninured even to the misfortunes of the shepherd.

    Imogen

    William Godwin


British Dictionary definitions for shepherd

shepherd

noun
  1. a person employed to tend sheepFemale equivalent: shepherdess Related adjectives: bucolic, pastoral
  2. a person, such as a clergyman, who watches over or guides a group of people
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verb (tr)
  1. to guide or watch over in the manner of a shepherd
  2. Australian rules football to prevent opponents from tackling (a member of one's own team) by blocking their path
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Word Origin

from Old English sceaphirde. See sheep, herd ²

Shepherd

noun
  1. astronomy a small moon of (e.g.) Saturn orbiting close to the rings and partly responsible for ring stability
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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 shepherd

n.

Old English sceaphierde, from sceap "sheep" (see sheep) + hierde "herder," from heord "a herd" (see herd (n.)). Cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schaphirde, Middle High German schafhirte, German dialectal Schafhirt. Shepherds customarily were buried with a tuft of wool in hand, to prove on Doomsday their occupation and be excused for often missing Sunday church. Shepherd's pie is recorded from 1877.

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v.

1790, "to herd sheep," from shepherd (n.). The metaphoric sense of "watch over or guide" is first recorded 1820. Related: Shepherded; shepherding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper