Origin of terrierMiddle English terrere from Middle French (chien) terrier, hunting (dog) from terrier, hillock, burrow from Medieval Latin terrarius, of earth from Classical Latin terra, Terra
Origin of terrierMiddle English from Old French (chien) terrier ground (dog), terrier from Medieval Latin terrārius of the earth from Latin terra ; see ters- in Indo-European roots.
- A dog from a group of small, lively breeds, originally bred for the hunting of burrowing prey such as rabbits or foxes.
- (law, historical) A collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, containing the rents and services they owed to the lord, etc.
- (law) A book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, etc.; a terrar.
From Old French (Middle French) chien terrier "terrier dog", or literally "earth dog," from chien 'dog' + terrier (itself ultimately from Latin terra 'earth').
Compare Latin terere (“to rub, to rub away"), terebra (“a borer").