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Origin of cur

1175–1225; Middle English curre, apparently shortened from curdogge. See cur dog
Related formscur·like, adjective

Synonyms for cur

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cur. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cur

Historical Examples of cur

  • It is a fool's plan to teach a man to be a cur in peace, and think that he will be a lion in war.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • "You were always a cur and a traitor, Mark Shaw," cried Aylward.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Had he not once picked up a cur on such a stormy night as this?

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • In the village two people only, the cur and the garde champtre?

  • "That" was a kick that doubled the cur up against the settee.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for cur


  1. any vicious dog, esp a mongrel
  2. a despicable or cowardly person

Word Origin for cur

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

Word Origin and History for cur

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