roe deer

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See also: roedeer and roe-deer


A roe deer.


From Old English rāhdēor (roe deer), corresponding to roe + deer. Cognate with Icelandic rádýr, Swedish rådjur, Norwegian and Danish rådyr.



roe deer (plural roe deer)

  1. A small, nimble Eurasian deer with no visible tail, a white rump patch, and a reddish summer coat that turns grey in winter, the male having short three-pointed antlers (Capreolus capreolus).
    Synonyms: chevreuil, roe
    • 1955, Robin Jenkins, The Cone-Gatherers, Canongate 2012, page 84:
      Frightened by the noises approaching them from the rear, and and apprehensive of the human silence ahead, the five roe deer were halted, their heads high in nervous alertness.

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