Definition of beagle in English:



  • A small hound of a breed with a short coat, used for hunting hares.

    • ‘Huntsmen from as far away Middletown joined others from Limerick and Kerry with a large pack of beagles.’
    • ‘It is regarded by many as the most prestigious fell hound show there is, with classes for beagles, harriers, Jack Russell's and terriers.’
    • ‘Areas of disagreement is that the impact of hunting with hounds and beagles, we are not actually quite clear whether they have any significant impact on hare numbers overall.’
    • ‘Animal rights activists are set to launch a legal campaign against the Home Office over its examination of welfare standards at a centre which breeds beagles for medical research.’
    • ‘Because beagles were bred as a pack animals, they are inclined to get along well with other dogs - and with cats, too.’
    • ‘His daughter, Elizabeth I, often took beagles to the hunting field in baskets attached to the horses' saddles.’
    • ‘Jake's dad has two twin little girls with red hair, and a little beagle for a dog.’
    • ‘Another Doberman, two beagles, a chihuahua, a Finnish spitz, a Westie and a retriever will also be travelling up with their owners to the competition on March 6 to 9.’
    • ‘Our beagle mix puppy is almost two, so I'm running out of time to blame this on ‘puppyhood.’’
    • ‘It will then be compared to small amounts of sequence from 10 to 20 other breeds, including the beagle, to study genetic variation within the canine species.’
    • ‘Like the panthers, and lion, and jaguars, there are huskies, beagles, greyhounds, danes, rottweiler, and a few others.’
    • ‘The beagles and hounds would have to be killed and all you animal rights people out there would never be happy.’
    • ‘The date is also traditionally the first day of hunting meets and foxhounds, lurchers, greyhounds, beagles, minkhounds, terriers and other hunting dogs will all be taken along to Higham.’
    • ‘For example, the beagle is a hunting dog and was trained to bark when it spotted the prey.’
    • ‘They released their hounds by a wood, and soon the dogs had picked up the trail of a fox; a beagle sounded the alarm and the rest of the dogs came running, keeping the trail fresh.’
    • ‘Like most dogs, beagles are capable of detecting many different types of odors.’
    • ‘I visited New York recently and on landing at Newark airport was taken through a customs hall where a beagle dog was eagerly examining luggage.’
    • ‘We therefore investigated the allelic variations of the DRD4 gene in the beagle and Shetland sheepdog, as well as in the golden retriever and shiba.’
    • ‘Gun dogs, beagles, carriage horses and staghounds are highly trained and strictly controlled: they are also meticulously presented and in a certain measure put on display.’
    • ‘The guard's interrogatory was cut short as a beagle began tearing at his trouser leg.’
    View synonyms


[no object]usually as noun beagling
  • Hunt with beagles.

    ‘he used to go beagling’
    • ‘And 77-year-old Trevor Masters, of Summerbridge, who has been beagling for 60 years said: ‘Hunting rabbits will not be the same.’’
    • ‘Unlike some of your recent correspondents I shall be saddened to see the law banning not just fox hunting, but also stag and mink hunting, hare coursing and beagling come into place in February.’
    • ‘He was interested in gardening, literature, music, cricket, polo, fox hunting, and beagling.’
    • ‘This means that all forms of hare hunting - beagling, harrying and hare coursing - will be illegal in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘After the recent revelations of Marlborough College boys involved in twice-a-week beagling, clearly it is time to close the loopholes in the Hunting Bill and put it forward as a total ban on live animal hunting.’
    • ‘As we have heard, nor, I think, really does beagling take place as far as I can gather in order to cull hares.’
    • ‘As well as playing golf Steve has a passionate interest in beagling and was no mean footballer.’


Late 15th century: perhaps from Old French beegueule ‘open-mouthed’, from beer ‘open wide’ + gueule ‘throat’.