1. one of any of several breeds of dogs trained to pursue game either by sight or by scent, especially one with a long face and large drooping ears.
  2. Informal. any dog.
  3. a mean, despicable person.
  4. Informal. an addict or devotee: an autograph hound.
  5. one of the pursuers in the game of hare and hounds.
verb (used with object)
  1. to hunt or track with hounds, or as a hound does; pursue.
  2. to pursue or harass without respite: Her little brother wouldn't stop hounding her.
  3. to incite (a hound) to pursuit or attack; urge on.
  4. Informal. to incite or urge (a person) to do something (usually followed by on).
  1. follow the hounds, Fox Hunting. to participate in a hunt, especially as a member of the field.
  2. ride to hounds, Fox Hunting. to participate in a hunt, whether as a member of the field or of the hunt staff.

Origin of hound

before 900; Middle English h(o)und, Old English hund; cognate with Dutch hond, Old Norse hundr, Danish, Swedish hund, German Hund, Gothic hunds; akin to Latin canis, Greek kýōn (genitive kynós), Sanskrit śván (genitive śunas), Old Irish (genitive con), Welsh ci (plural cwn), Tocharian A kū, Lithuanian šuõ
Related formshound·er, nounhound·ish, hound·y, adjectivehound·like, adjectiveun·hound·ed, adjective

Synonyms for hound

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

British Dictionary definitions for hounders


    1. any of several breeds of dog used for hunting
    2. (in combination)an otterhound; a deerhound
  1. the hounds a pack of foxhounds, etc
  2. a dog, esp one regarded as annoying
  3. a despicable person
  4. (in hare and hounds) a runner who pursues a hare
  5. slang, mainly US and Canadian an enthusiastan autograph hound
  6. short for houndfish See also nursehound
  7. ride to hounds or follow the hounds to take part in a fox hunt with hounds
verb (tr)
  1. to pursue or chase relentlessly
  2. to urge on
Derived Formshounder, noun

Word Origin for hound

Old English hund; related to Old High German hunt, Old Norse hundr, Gothic hunds


  1. either of a pair of horizontal bars that reinforce the running gear of a horse-drawn vehicle
  2. nautical either of a pair of fore-and-aft braces that serve as supports for a topmast

Word Origin for hound

C15: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse hūnn knob, cube
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 hounders



Old English hund "dog," from Proto-Germanic *hundas (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian hund, Old High German hunt, German Hund, Old Norse hundr, Gothic hunds), from PIE *kuntos, dental enlargement of root *kwon- "dog" (see canine). Meaning narrowed 12c. to "dog used for hunting."



"hunt with hounds," 1520s, from hound (v.). Sense of "pursue relentlessly" is first recorded c.1600. Related: Hounded; hounding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hounders


see run with (the hare, hunt with the hounds).

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