Definition of lurcher in English:



  • 1British A cross-bred dog, typically a retriever, collie, or sheepdog crossed with a greyhound, of a kind originally used for hunting and by poachers for catching rabbits.

    • ‘But hunt supporters want to show the battle has only just begun and will mass 1,000 hounds, lurchers, terriers, and gundogs outside.’
    • ‘Annie is a lurcher - a crossbred dog - who was rescued by members of Limerick Animal Welfare following day and night searches in Castletroy.’
    • ‘Some underfeed their whippets, lurchers, or greyhounds, because they mistakenly think these breeds are meant to be stick-thin.’
    • ‘The dogs range from puppies to an 18-year-old and include two lurchers, two German shepherds, 15 Yorkshire terriers and up to 20 other terriers.’
    • ‘Performances by the lurcher dog display team, horse shoe making competitions and displays by Otley Ferret Welfare, vintage tractors and dry stone walling, gave everyone something to look at.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1824 dogs used by farmers for shepherding were greyhounds, hounds, pointers, spaniels, lurchers and terriers all of which were exempted from the dog tax if the value of the farm was less than £190 per year.’
    • ‘If fast running dogs such as greyhounds or lurchers were used to hunt foxes, the whole thing would be over in seconds, but then there would be no ‘sport’.’
    • ‘In addition, according to the Cobham Report, there are 70,000 people with lurchers used for hunting hares.’
    • ‘That bloody lurcher cross breed was there again.’
    • ‘Grandad started to shake me, like a lurcher with a baby rabbit.’
    • ‘Vinnie hunts rabbits for the pot with his three lurchers and maintains that his way of killing them is as humane as any alternative.’
    • ‘These mixed dogs were called lurchers, and many of them and their descendants ended up registered as Border Collies.’
    • ‘He had an abundance of dogs which he raised and trained, including lurchers, spaniels, Labradors, Jack Russells and whippets.’
    • ‘The dogs, which are being cared for at York Animal Centre, include Yorkshire terriers, lurchers, German shepherds and crossbreeds.’
    • ‘That would be partly because a lot of landowners are killing hares to keep lurchers and poachers off their land.’
    • ‘There was something about the place, something in the air - not so much a smell, as an aura - that made you check your step, as if you were a rabbit sensing a lurking lurcher.’
    • ‘There will be three rings at the dog show for greyhounds, lurchers, whippets and any other breeds.’
    • ‘We were going to get a house and he wanted to get a lurcher puppy.’
    • ‘He started hunting with his own scratch pack of lurchers and terriers.’
    spy, secret agent, undercover agent, operative, fifth columnist, mata hari
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  • 2archaic A prowler, swindler, or petty thief.

    • ‘Crab, in this case, is played by a somnambulant lurcher called Ria.’
    • ‘After a fortnight of failure, a villager reported that the lurcher repeatedly visited one isolated house.’
    • ‘In the following months, she went with Ye every afternoon after work to catch lurchers.’


Early 16th century (in lurcher (sense 2)): from obsolete lurch ‘remain in a place furtively’, variant of lurk.