[ shep-erd ]
See synonyms for shepherd on
  1. a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.

  2. a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.

  1. a member of the clergy.

  2. the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

verb (used with object)
  1. to tend or guard as a shepherd: to shepherd the flock.

  2. to watch over carefully.

Origin of shepherd

before 1050; Middle English shepherde,Old English scēphyrde.See sheep, herd2

Other words for shepherd

Other words from shepherd

  • shep·herd·less, adjective
  • shep·herd·like, adjective
  • un·der·shep·herd, noun
  • un·shep·herd·ed, adjective
  • un·shep·herd·ing, adjective

Other definitions for Shepherd (2 of 2)

[ shep-erd ]

  1. a male given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use shepherd in a sentence

  • He adeptly shepherded some of the most legally and politically fraught policy matters at DOD.

  • She shepherded the two girls upstairs by the staircase, instead of the elevator, as if she wanted them to be conspicuous.

    Winona of the Camp Fire | Margaret Widdemer
  • On the first night she had stayed up after Lady Pentyre had shepherded the women of the party to bed.

    Lady Lilith | Stephen McKenna
  • They shepherded me to Gallipoli, one each side of me and one astern, evidently expecting me to be caught by the nets there.

    Sea Warfare | Rudyard Kipling
  • There is but little doubt that they were shepherded into the position in which they were called upon to fight at Doornkop.

    The Transvaal from Within | J. P. Fitzpatrick
  • It was on Latmos, not Ida, that Endymion shepherded his flocks; but that is of no moment, except to schoolmasters.

    Letters on Literature | Andrew Lang

British Dictionary definitions for shepherd (1 of 2)


/ (ˈʃɛpəd) /

  1. a person employed to tend sheep: Female equivalent: shepherdess Related adjectives: bucolic, pastoral

  2. a person, such as a clergyman, who watches over or guides a group of people

  1. to guide or watch over in the manner of a shepherd

  2. Australian rules football to prevent opponents from tackling (a member of one's own team) by blocking their path

Origin of shepherd

from Old English sceaphirde. See sheep, herd ²

British Dictionary definitions for Shepherd (2 of 2)


  1. astronomy a small moon of (e.g.) Saturn orbiting close to the rings and partly responsible for ring stability

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