Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: deer

Definition of deer in English:

noun (plural same)

A hoofed grazing or browsing animal, with branched bony antlers that are shed annually and typically borne only by the male. See also mouse deer, musk deer.
  • Family Cervidae: several genera and many species
Example sentences
  • 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.

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…