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hound1

[hound]
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noun
  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.
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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).
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Idioms
  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.
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Origin of hound1

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

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6. dog, follow, chase, trail; tail. 7. pester, annoy, persecute, bully.

hound2

[hound]
noun
  1. Nautical. either of a pair of fore-and-aft members at the lower end of the head of a mast, for supporting the trestletrees, that support an upper mast at its heel.Compare cheek(def 12).
  2. a horizontal bar or brace, usually one of a pair, for strengthening the running gear of a horse-drawn wagon or the like.
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Origin of hound2

1175–1225; Middle English hūn < Old Norse hūnn knob at the masthead
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hounds

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • So, to my great relief and pleasure, they started on after the hounds.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Taking to the water threw the hounds off the scent of the track.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • But the man proved to be a poor runaway like myself, and the one whom the hounds were after.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Your men were playing a funny game—hare and hounds, it looked like.

  • His thoughts, like hounds on a trail, raced off after this new scent.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White


British Dictionary definitions for hounds

hound1

noun
    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
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verb (tr)
  1. to pursue or chase relentlessly
  2. to urge on
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Derived Formshounder, noun

Word Origin

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

hound2

noun
  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
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Word Origin

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 hounds

hound

n.

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."

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hound

v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hounds

hound

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

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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.