Deer definition

dîr
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Any of various hoofed ruminant mammals of the family Cervidae, characteristically having deciduous antlers borne chiefly by the males. The deer family includes the white-tailed deer, elk, moose, and caribou.
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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.
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(obs.) Any animal; beast.
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(zoology) A ruminant mammal with antlers and hooves of the family Cervidae or one of several similar animals from related families of the order Artiodactyla.

I wrecked my car after a deer ran across the road.

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The meat of such an animal.

Oh, I've never had deer before.

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The definition of a deer is a graceful, wild, hoofed animal with long legs; the males have antlers.

An example of a deer is the animal in Disney's Bambi.

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(archaic) (Esp. in phrase small deer) Any animal, especially a mammal.

But mice and rats and such small deer, have been Tom's food for seven long year. -Shakespeare, King Lear. Act III. Sc. IV.

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Origin of deer

  • Middle English der beast from Old English dēor

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

  • 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