- a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
- a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.
- a member of the clergy.
- the Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
- to tend or guard as a shepherd: to shepherd the flock.
- to watch over carefully.
Origin of shepherd
Synonyms for shepherd
- astronomy a small moon of (e.g.) Saturn orbiting close to the rings and partly responsible for ring stability
- a person employed to tend sheepFemale equivalent: shepherdess Related adjectives: bucolic, pastoral
- a person, such as a clergyman, who watches over or guides a group of people
- to guide or watch over in the manner of a shepherd
- Australian rules football to prevent opponents from tackling (a member of one's own team) by blocking their path
Word Origin for shepherd
Old English sceaphierde, from sceap "sheep" (see sheep) + hierde "herder," from heord "a herd" (see herd (n.)). Cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schaphirde, Middle High German schafhirte, German dialectal Schafhirt. Shepherds customarily were buried with a tuft of wool in hand, to prove on Doomsday their occupation and be excused for often missing Sunday church. Shepherd's pie is recorded from 1877.
1790, "to herd sheep," from shepherd (n.). The metaphoric sense of "watch over or guide" is first recorded 1820. Related: Shepherded; shepherding.