- any of several ruminants of the family Cervidae, most of the males of which have solid, deciduous antlers.
- any of the smaller species of this family, as distinguished from the moose, elk, etc.
Origin of deer
Examples from the Web for deers
The hill riding was of the roughest, and the cattle were wild as deers and as agile.A Texas Ranger
William MacLeod Raine
In case of a lack of blubber, deers marrow may be used for fuel.The Central Eskimo
Uncertainly, her head drawn back as a deers is when surprised, she glanced about her.The Monster
And they made them hold rattles of deers' claws on their arms.Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))
James Owen Dorsey
With deers, hares, falcons, the fields of my people are full.Sketches of Central Asia (1868)
- any ruminant artiodactyl mammal of the family Cervidae, including reindeer, elk, muntjacs, and roe deer, typically having antlers in the maleRelated adjective: cervine
- (in N Canada) another name for caribou
Word Origin and History for deers
Old English deor "animal, beast," from Proto-Germanic *deuzam, the general Germanic word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (cf. Old Frisian diar, Dutch dier, Old Norse dyr, Old High German tior, German Tier "animal," Gothic dius "wild animal," also cf. reindeer), from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from root *dheu- (1) "cloud, breath" (cf. Lithuanian dusti "gasp," dvesti "gasp, perish;" Old Church Slavonic dychati "breathe").
For prehistoric sense development, cf. Latin animal from anima "breath"). Sense specialization to a specific animal began in Old English (usual Old English for what we now call a deer was heorot; see hart), common by 15c., now complete. Probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (cf. Sanskrit mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). Deer-lick is first attested 1778, in an American context.