Definition of terrier in English:

terrier

noun

  • 1A small dog of a breed originally used for turning out foxes and other burrowing animals from their lairs.

    • ‘Ronnie enjoys the country life and while his girlfriend of 15 years, Fiona, spends all her time with the horses, he is content with his two terriers and other animals.’
    • ‘Those days in Ireland there were few breeds to choose from and the greyhound, Irish red setter, terrier and sheep dog were about as far as it went.’
    • ‘In addition, Airedales can be aggressive toward other dogs and small animals, a trait not unheard of in terriers.’
    • ‘Maria longed for a larger, less isolated life that included people and domesticated animals, fat curly terriers or blue-eyed huskies.’
    • ‘Both the Clydesdale and the Paisley terrier eventually became extinct, but not before they had contributed to the development of the Yorkie.’
    • ‘If you own a terrier - any breed or size - you can take it to Kelso to compete for what I am assured will be generous cash prizes.’
    • ‘Sunday's show has a series of classes for both foxhounds and terriers, although the competition is only open to animals belonging to the hunt.’
    • ‘The Airedale terrier found in the cathedral grounds of Dunkeld greets visitors with a wet muzzle.’
    • ‘We have two dogs: one is a terrier, a breed noted for their rat-hating, but in the absence of rats they take on mice - or possums.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Remember that this breed was originally used as a working terrier and was bred to hunt badgers, rabbits and foxes.’
    • ‘What is also interesting with the dogs is that farm dogs like collies came out well ahead in the cleverness stakes than other working dogs like retrievers and terriers, with the toy breeds trailing behind.’
    • ‘We had all sorts of dogs from terriers to spaniels and even a French basset hound.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dogs ranged in ages and breeds and included everything from new-born pups to malnourished, mange-ridden and ulcerated German shepherds to terriers to poms.’
    • ‘A native of Tullamore, she has been showing Airedale terriers for the last six years.’
    • ‘In addition, there was a show of the Ullswater foxhounds and an open foxhound show; a show of various breeds of terriers along with gun dogs and children's pets.’
    • ‘Nearly every show in Cumbria has classes for foxhounds and terriers which shows the importance that hunting holds in the agricultural and village communities.’
    • ‘Reggie's ancestors - the first terriers - were bred for seek-and-destroy missions in the fox dens and badger holes surrounding the farms of their native Scotland.’
    • ‘Honey is a young golden mixed breed terrier, who likes cats, and is full of fun and playful.’
    1. 1.1 Used in similes to emphasize tenacity or eagerness.
      ‘she would fight like a terrier for every penny’
      • ‘He was like a terrier, bounding along, whereas I was more like a snail - there was just so much to see at this site.’
      • ‘Roche has worked like a terrier on the campaign, cancelling his summer holidays and launching a series of blistering broadsides on the No side.’
      • ‘Hams-Tech, who played like terriers, scored through penalties kicked by fly half Warren Gower and scrum half Andre Bosman.’
      • ‘She was like a terrier worrying an elk hound, charging in and pressing an attack so fast and furious he had no choice but to defend himself.’
      • ‘The score line was no indication how the game went about as the Police forwards played like terriers in the loose to match their reputed opponents.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French (chien) terrier earth (dog) from medieval Latin terrarius, from Latin terra earth.

Pronunciation:

terrier

/ˈterēər/