Share this entry

Share this page

cur

Syllabification: cur
Pronunciation: /kər
 
/

Definition of cur in English:

noun

1An aggressive dog or one that is in poor condition, especially a mongrel.
Example sentences
  • Just as the evening shades were drawing on the landlady observed a cur dog, belonging to a well known cattle jobber and farmer, emerge from the kitchen quarters bearing something in its jaws.
  • Every dog in office is obeyed with such unquestioning meekness, that every dog in office is tempted to become a cur.
  • As you poke the dog, it becomes more and more likely that the cur will attack you - at which point you'll have to shoot it.
Synonyms
1.1 informal A contemptible man.
Example sentences
  • The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial judge that the language used by the farmer in the two conversations, which included calling the farm hand a liar and a bastard and a cur, justified the farm hand in leaving.
  • ‘Our boys are fighting and dying for the infernal curs and traitors inside,’ one speaker cried.
  • When she tells Alfonso that Eric is on board and cannot step on Bucca, he starts calling the men to retrieve the Avalonian cur from the Lucky Dog to be arrested for stealing from the Counsel!

Origin

Middle English (in the general sense 'dog'): probably originally in cur-dog, perhaps from Old Norse kurr 'grumbling'.

More
  • A cur is now disparaging, whether used of dog or man. However, it was first used generally in the sense ‘dog’. It probably comes from the phrase cur-dog, perhaps from Old Norse kurr ‘grumbling’, but used to mean ‘house dog’.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing