[ hurd ]
/ hɜrd /
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See synonyms for: herd / herded / herding on Thesaurus.com


a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together; drove; flock: a herd of cattle;a herd of sheep;a herd of zebras.
Sometimes Disparaging. a large group of people: The star was mobbed by a herd of autograph seekers.
any large quantity: a herd of bicycles.
the herd, the common people; masses; rabble: He had no opinions of his own, but simply followed the herd.

verb (used without object)

to unite or go in a herd; assemble or associate as a herd.



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Idioms for herd

    ride herd on, to have charge or control of; maintain discipline over: He rode herd on 40 students in each class.

Origin of herd

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English heord; cognate with Gothic hairda, German Herde
1. See flock1.
heard, herd

Definition for herd (2 of 2)

[ hurd ]
/ hɜrd /


a herdsman (usually used in combination): a cowherd; a goatherd; a shepherd.

verb (used with object)

to tend, drive, or lead (cattle, sheep, etc.).
to conduct or drive (a group of people) to a destination: The teacher herded the children into the classroom.

Origin of herd

before 900; Middle English herd(e), hirde,Old English hierde; cognate with Gothic hairdeis,German Hirt(e); derivative of herd1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for herd (1 of 2)

/ (hɜːd) /


a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc
often derogatory a large group of people
derogatory the large mass of ordinary people


to collect or be collected into or as if into a herd
Old English heord; related to Old Norse hjörth, Gothic hairda, Old High German herta, Greek kórthus troop

British Dictionary definitions for herd (2 of 2)

/ (hɜːd) /


  1. archaic, or dialect a man or boy who tends livestock; herdsman
  2. (in combination)goatherd; swineherd

verb (tr)

to drive forwards in a large group
to look after (livestock)
Old English hirde; related to Old Norse hirthir, Gothic hairdeis, Old High German hirti, Old Saxon hirdi, herdi; see herd 1
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

Idioms and Phrases with herd


see ride herd on.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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