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See also: Bloodhound


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Alternative forms[edit]


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.
  3. (archaic) A bloodthirsty person.
    • 1817 December, Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Revolt of Islam. []”, in [Mary] Shelley, editor, The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. [], volume I, London: Edward Moxon [], published 1839, OCLC 1000449192, page 263:
      For now the despot’s blood-hounds with their prey,
      Unarmed and unaware, were gorging deep
      Their gluttony of death; the loose array
      Of horsemen o’er the wide fields murdering sweep,
      And with loud laughter for their tyrant reap
      A harvest sown with other hopes; []

Derived terms[edit]


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