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See also: Hound



  • IPA(key): /haʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English hound, from Old English hund, from Proto-West Germanic *hund, from Proto-Germanic *hundaz. Cognate with West Frisian hûn, Dutch hond, Luxembourgish Hond, German Hund, German Low German Hund, Danish hund, Faroese hundur, Icelandic hundur, Norwegian Bokmål hund, Norwegian Nynorsk hund, and Swedish hund, from pre-Germanic *ḱuntós (compare Latvian sùnt-ene (big dog), enlargement of Proto-Indo-European *ḱwṓ (dog) (compare Old Irish (dog), Tocharian B ku, Lithuanian šuõ, Armenian շուն (šun), Russian сука (suka)). Doublet of canine.

In 14th-century England, hound was the general word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype resembling the modern mastiff and bulldog.[1] By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, and hound had begun to refer only to breeds used for hunting.[2]

A basset hound.


hound (plural hounds)

  1. A dog, particularly a breed with a good sense of smell developed for hunting other animals.
  2. Any canine animal.
  3. (by extension) Someone who seeks something.
    • 1996, Marc Parent, Turning Stones, Harcourt Brace & Company, →ISBN, page 93:
      On the way out of the building I was asked for my autograph. If I'd known who the signature hound thought I was, I would've signed appropriately.
    • 2004, Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper, Simon & Schuster,, →ISBN, page 483:
      I still do not know if he's taken on this case because he's a glory hound, because he wants the PR, or if he simply wanted to help Anna.
  4. (by extension) A male who constantly seeks the company of desirable women.
    • 1915, Norman Duncan, "A Certain Recipient", in Harper's, volume 122, number 787, December 1915, republished in Harper's Monthly Magazine, volume 122, December 1915 to May 1916, page 108,
      "Are you alone, Goodson? [] I thought, perhaps, that the [] young woman, Goodson, who supplanted Mary?" []
      "She had a good many successors, John."
      "You are such a hound, in that respect, Goodson," said Claywell, "and you have always been such a hound, that it astounds me to find you—unaccompanied."
  5. A despicable person.
  6. A houndfish.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In more recent times, hound has been replaced by Modern English dog but the sense remains the same.
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from hound
Expressions containing hound

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English hounden, from the noun (see above).


hound (third-person singular simple present hounds, present participle hounding, simple past and past participle hounded)

  1. (transitive) To persistently harass.
    He hounded me for weeks, but I was simply unable to pay back his loan.
    • 2019 April 11, Marcel Theroux, “Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan review – intelligent mischief”, in The Guardian[3]:
      More pertinently for the plot, another marked difference from history is that the United Kingdom of this 1982 is precociously computerised. Instead of having been hounded to death for his homosexuality, the scientist Alan Turing is thriving and lauded.
  2. (transitive) To urge on against; to set (dogs) upon in hunting.
    • 1897, Andrew Lang, The Book of Dreams and Ghosts, page 162:
      We both thought we saw what had the appearance to be a fox, and hounded the dogs at it, but they would not pursue it.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English hownde, hount, houn, probably from Old Norse húnn, from Proto-Germanic *hūnaz.

Alternative forms[edit]


hound (plural hounds)

  1. (nautical, in the plural) Projections at the masthead or foremast, serving as a support for the trestletrees and top to rest on; foretop
  2. A side bar used to strengthen portions of the running gear of a vehicle.



Middle English[edit]

An hound in watres.

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English hund.



hound (plural houndes or hounden)

  1. dog, hound (The canid Canis lupus familiaris)
    1. A pet dog; a dog kept for companionship.
    2. A hunting or sporting dog; a hound.
    3. (specifically) A male or fully-grown dog.
  2. A strong term of abuse, especially used against enemies of one's religion
  3. (rare) A heraldic portrayal of a dog.
  4. (rare) The forces of evil; the infernal army.
  5. (rare) Sirius (star)

Usage notes[edit]

The general word for "dog" is hound; dogge is vaguely derogatory and has a sense of "mongrel" or "cur".


Derived terms[edit]


  • English: hound
  • Scots: hoond, hund