noun (plural same)
- Family Cervidae: several genera and many species
- The land around the ranch is a protected wintering area for elk, deer and bighorn sheep.
- Looping back around, I got a closer look at the ears and realised that it was probably a muntjac deer.
- Police said it was standard advice to cover the head of an injured deer or other animal to help reduce its stress.
Old English dēor, also originally denoting any quadruped, used in the (now archaic) phrase small deer meaning 'small creatures collectively'; of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dier, German Tier.
In Old English a deer was not just the animal we are familiar with now, it could be any four-footed creature. The meaning was narrowed down to its modern sense in the Middle Ages. The word goes back to Indo-European, to a root meaning ‘breathing creature’.
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