Definition of hound in English:

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Pronunciation: /hound/


1A dog of a breed used for hunting, especially one able to track by scent.
Example sentences
  • The Dachshund was bred as a badger hound or hunting dog and is known to have existed from the oldest breeds of German hunting dogs such as the Bibarhund.
  • For thousands of years nomadic tribes of the Middle East have bred a hunting hound called the saluki.
  • Topics under discussion ranged from hunting hounds on the track, through to the future of the East Coast Main Line and problems at Leeds Station.
dog, hunting dog, canine, mongrel, cur
informal doggy, pooch, mutt, pup
1.1 [with modifier] A person who avidly pursues something: he has a reputation as a publicity hound
More example sentences
  • We had 10 years to get his measure, and we got it well enough: he is a publicity hound, an arch opportunist, a cold-eyed political calculator - a hard man, it has to be said, to like, if not to respect.
  • I think our police chief is a media-savvy publicity hound, overly obsessed with his own public image and the image of his force.
  • Underneath, his light-blue oxford was soaked, proving that the Northwest Passage could still make a sea hound sweat.
1.2 informal, dated A despicable or contemptible man.
Example sentences
  • This marks an interesting divide because women - especially California women - have certainly been willing and eager to vote for that other rapacious hound.
  • Not surprisingly, this gruesome war against the darkest recesses of the human spirit has left him a battered old hound, riddled with scars and guilt.
  • Is this old Hollywood hound learning new tricks?
1.3Used in names of dogfishes, e.g., nurse hound, smooth hound.
Example sentences
  • This is the more common of the two species of Smooth Hound.
  • Over the last few years smooth hounds have increased so heavily off Rhyl that I can now specifically target this species.


[with object]
Harass, persecute, or pursue relentlessly: a tenacious attorney general who had hounded Jimmy Hoffa and other labor bosses he led the race from start to finish but was hounded all the way by Phillips his opponents used the allegations to hound him out of office
More example sentences
  • No one will badger, harass, bother or hound you about your progress, or lack thereof.
  • Since then, despite making regular payments, I have been hounded and harassed and feel the company has been arrogant throughout.
  • Lindy was persecuted, hounded by the media and the hearing, for security purposes, was relocated to Darwin.
pursue, chase, follow, shadow, be hot on someone's heels, hunt (down), stalk, track, trail, tail, dog;
harass, hassle, persecute, harry, pester, bother, badger, torment, bedevil
force, drive, pressure, pressurize, push, urge, coerce, impel, dragoon, strong-arm;
informal bulldoze, railroad, hustle


ride to hounds

see ride.


Old English hund (in the general sense 'dog'), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hond and German Hund, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek kuōn, kun- 'dog'.

  • dog from Old English:

    The word dog appears only once in surviving Old English literature, and until the Middle Ages hound was the ordinary word for a dog. The low status of dogs is shown by phrases like a dog's life, not have a dog's chance, and to treat someone like a dog. For something to go to the dogs is certainly undesirable, but even such luckless animals might sometimes get hold of a tasty treat or a warm bed, for every dog has its day. Dogs can be savage, and dog eat dog signifies a situation of fierce competition. This rather chillingly makes reference to, and reverses, the proverb dog does not eat dog, which dates back to the mid 16th century in English and has a precursor in Latin canis caninam non est, ‘a dog does not eat dog's flesh’. Every dog is allowed one bite is based on the rule, probably dating from the 17th century, by which an animal's owner was not liable for harm done by it unless he knew of its vicious tendencies. A dog in the manger, ‘a person inclined to prevent others having or using things that they do not want or need themselves’, derives from a fable in which a dog lies in a manger to prevent the ox and horse from eating hay. People have invoked the idea since the 16th century. A change in the status of dogs is found in the idea of the dog being man's best friend, which seems to be a Victorian one, a change emphasized by love me, love my dog. See also bollock, canary, dinner, hair, havoc

Words that rhyme with hound

abound, aground, around, astound, bound, compound, confound, dumbfound, expound, found, ground, impound, interwound, mound, pound, profound, propound, redound, round, sound, stoneground, surround, theatre-in-the-round (US theater-in-the-round), underground, wound

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hound

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