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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.
  3. (archaic) A bloodthirsty person.

Related terms[edit]


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