1. one of a breed of dogs having a usually long, black, tan, and white or sable and white coat, raised originally in Scotland for herding sheep.

Origin of collie

1645–55; perhaps Scots colle coal (in reference to the original coloration of the breed) + -ie; compare Middle English Colle dog's name
Related formscol·lie·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for collie

Contemporary Examples of collie

Historical Examples of collie

  • Dogs are capering about, a collie, a setter, a Boston terrier.

  • And it would have gone hard with him had not Collie appeared on the scene.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • With the exception of Collie, all things went well with White Fang.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Collie snarled warningly at him, and he was careful to keep his distance.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Before they had gone two blocks, Mrs. Nancy had named the collie David.

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

British Dictionary definitions for collie


  1. any of several silky-coated breeds of dog developed for herding sheep and cattleSee Border collie, rough collie, bearded collie

Word Origin for collie

C17: Scottish, probably from earlier colie black with coal dust, from cole coal
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 collie

1650s, possibly from dialectal coaly "coal-black," the color of some breeds (cf. colley, "sheep with black face and legs," attested from 1793; Middle English colfox, "coal-fox," a variety of fox with tail and both ears tipped with black; and colley, Somerset dialectal name for "blackbird"). Or from Scandinavian proper name Colle, which is known to have been applied to dogs in Middle English ("Ran Colle our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerlond" [Chaucer]); or perhaps a convergence of the two.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper