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herd

1
[hurd]
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noun
  1. a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together; drove; flock: a herd of cattle; a herd of sheep; a herd of zebras.
  2. Sometimes Disparaging. a large group of people: The star was mobbed by a herd of autograph seekers.
  3. any large quantity: a herd of bicycles.
  4. the herd, the common people; masses; rabble: He had no opinions of his own, but simply followed the herd.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to unite or go in a herd; assemble or associate as a herd.
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Idioms
  1. ride herd on, to have charge or control of; maintain discipline over: He rode herd on 40 students in each class.
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Origin of herd

1
before 1000; Middle English; Old English heord; cognate with Gothic hairda, German Herde
Can be confusedheard herd

Synonyms for herd

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1. See flock1. 2. crowd, mob.

Usage note

herd

2
[hurd]
noun
  1. a herdsman (usually used in combination): a cowherd; a goatherd; a shepherd.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to tend, drive, or lead (cattle, sheep, etc.).
  2. to conduct or drive (a group of people) to a destination: The teacher herded the children into the classroom.
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Origin of herd

2
before 900; Middle English herd(e), hirde, Old English hierde; cognate with Gothic hairdeis, German Hirt(e); derivative of herd1

Synonyms for herd

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for herding

corral, goad, huddle, poke, force, lead, associate, muster, drive, punch, collect, congregate, run, assemble, rally, flock, spur, guide

Examples from the Web for herding

Contemporary Examples of herding

Historical Examples of herding

  • Note: The outcast princess is represented as “herding sheep.”

  • I suppose you know that she began life by herding the village goats.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then he entered the ship, herding the white-faced girl before him.

    A World is Born

    Leigh Douglass Brackett

  • Fats had swung back, and was now herding the crowd inside his place.

    Police Your Planet

    Lester del Rey

  • The M.A.'s are carrying in the provisions, the boys are stowing them and also herding the beasts.

    The Magic City

    Edith Nesbit


British Dictionary definitions for herding

herd

1
noun
  1. a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc
  2. often derogatory a large group of people
  3. derogatory the large mass of ordinary people
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verb
  1. to collect or be collected into or as if into a herd
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Word Origin for herd

Old English heord; related to Old Norse hjörth, Gothic hairda, Old High German herta, Greek kórthus troop

herd

2
noun
    1. archaic, or dialecta man or boy who tends livestock; herdsman
    2. (in combination)goatherd; swineherd
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verb (tr)
  1. to drive forwards in a large group
  2. to look after (livestock)
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Word Origin for herd

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

Word Origin and History for herding

herd

v.

mid-13c., "to watch over or herd (livestock);" of animals, "to gather in a herd, to form a flock," late 14c., from herd (n.). Related: Herded; herding.

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herd

n.

Old English heord "herd, flock," from Proto-Germanic *herdo- (cf. Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda "herd"), from PIE *kerdh- "a row, group, herd" (cf. Sanskrit śárdhah "herd, troop," Old Church Slavonic čreda "herd," Greek korthys "heap," Lithuanian kerdžius "shepherd"). Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1908.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with herding

herd

see ride herd on.

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