a mongrel dog, especially a worthless or unfriendly one.
a mean, cowardly person.

Origin of cur

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

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

Examples from the Web for curs

Historical Examples of curs

  • You will have to fly like curs before the whips of your own men.

  • Now Heaven help a poor, deserted maid, who set her trust in curs!

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Ask me to beat them off with a whip like a pack of curs, and I'll do it readily.

  • "Collars, and curs to wear them," growled out Tony, under his breath.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • I keep my ambition in leash, and still and on they must be snapping like curs at Argile.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

British Dictionary definitions for curs



any vicious dog, esp a mongrel
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 curs



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