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From Middle English blodhound, blodhond, equivalent to blood +‎ hound. Cognate with Dutch bloedhond(bloodhound), Middle Low German blōthunt(bloodhound), German Bluthund(bloodhound), Danish blodhund(bloodhound), Swedish blodhund(bloodhound). The detective sense follows from the dog's ability to follow a trail.



bloodhound (plural bloodhounds)

  1. A large scenthound famed for its ability to follow a scent many days old, over vast distances. This dog is often used as a police dog to track missing people, fleeing suspects, or escaped prisoners.
  2. (figuratively) A detective or other person skilled at finding people or clues.

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