Origin of reindeerMiddle English reindere ; from Old Norse hreind?ri ; from hreinn, reindeer (; from Indo-European an unverified form ?erei-, horned animal ; from base an unverified form ?er-, top of the head, horn from source horn, Classical Latin cerebrum) + d?r, animal, deer
nounpl. reindeer or rein·deers
Origin of reindeerMiddle English reindere : Old Norse hreinn, reindeer; see ker-1 in Indo-European roots + Middle English der, animal; see deer. Word History: The word reindeer has nothing to do with reins. The element –deer in reindeer is indeed our word deer, but the element rein– has a different origin. Rein, “leather strap for guiding animals,” comes from Old French resne, while the rein– in reindeer is of Scandinavian origin. Wild reindeer once roamed Great Britain in prehistoric times, but they had become extinct long before the Anglo-Saxons invaded the island, or even before the Celts settled it in ancient times. (The small herd of wild reindeer that currently lives in Scotland descends from animals imported from Scandinavia.) To most people in medieval England and Scotland, the reindeer was a foreign creature living in distant Scandinavia, and it is therefore not surprising that the English name of this animal contains an element borrowed from a Scandinavian source. The rein– in Middle English reindere (Modern English reindeer) comes from the Old Norse word for the reindeer, hreinn.
(plural reindeers or reindeer)
From Middle English, from Old Norse hreindÃ½ri (“reindeer"), from hreinn + dÃ½r (“animal").