Deer Definition

Any of a family (Cervidae) of ruminants, including the elk, moose, and reindeer; esp., the smaller species, as the white-tailed deer and mule deer: in most species, usually only the males grow and shed bony antlers annually.
Webster's New World
Any animal; beast.
Webster's New World

Origin of Deer

  • From Middle English deere, dere, der, dier, deor (“small animal, deer”), from Old English dēor, dīor (“an animal, beast, any sort of wild animal, wild beast; deer, reindeer”), from Proto-Germanic *deuzą (“animal”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeusóm (“living thing”), from *dʰeus (“breath”), full-grade derivative of *dʰu̯ésmi. Cognate with Scots dere, deir (“deer”), North Frisian dier (“animal, beast”), West Frisian dier (“animal, beast”), Dutch dier (“animal, beast”), German Low German Deer, Deert (“animal”), German Tier (“animal, beast”), Swedish djur (“animal, beast”), Icelandic dýr (“animal, beast”). Related also to Albanian dash (“ram”), Lithuanian daũsos (“upper air; heaven”), Lithuanian dùsti (“to sigh”), Russian душа (dušá, “breath, spirit”), Lithuanian dvėsti (“to breath, exhale”), Sanskrit ध्वंसति (dhvaṃsati, “he falls to dust”). For semantic development compare Latin animalis (“animal”), from anima (“breath, spirit”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English der beast from Old English dēor

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


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