Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Deer (singular and plural) are the ruminant mammals forming the familyCervidae. The two main groups are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the fallow deer and the chital, and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer (caribou), the Western roe deer, and the Eurasian elk (moose). Female reindeer, and male deer of all species (except the Chinese water deer), grow and shed new antlers each year. In this they differ from permanently horned antelope, which are in the same order, Artiodactyla.
The musk deer of Asia and water chevrotain (or mouse deer) of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded as true deer and form their own families: Moschidae and Tragulidae, respectively.
Deer appear in art from Palaeolithic cave paintings onwards, and they have played a role in mythology, religion, and literature throughout history, as well as in heraldry. Their economic importance includes the use of their meat as venison, their skins as soft, strong buckskin, and their antlers as handles for knives. Deer hunting has been a popular sport since at least the Middle Ages, and remains an important business today.
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Deer may also refer to:
Deer is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
- Ada Deer (born 1935), Native American leader
- Brian Deer (21st century), British investigative reporter
- Gary Mule Deer (21st century), American comedian
- Gene Deer (21st century), American blues guitarist
- George Deer (1890-1974), British politician
- James Young Deer (died 1946), Native American film actor
- Rob Deer (born 1960), American baseball player
- Laurence Deer (born 1990), English digital marketing pioneer
Deer (given name)
Deer is a Native American given name. Notable people with the name include:
- Dick Deer Slayer (20th century), Native American football player
- Susan Deer Cloud (born 1950), Native American writer
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Deer \Deer\ (d[=e]r), n. sing. & pl. [OE. der, deor, animal, wild animal, AS. de['o]r; akin to D. dier, OFries. diar, G. thier, tier, Icel. d[=y]r, Dan. dyr, Sw. djur, Goth. dius; of unknown origin. [root]7
] 1. Any animal; especially, a wild animal. [Obs.]
Mice and rats, and such small deer.
The camel, that great deer.
(Zo["o]l.) A ruminant of the genus Cervus, of many species, and of related genera of the family Cervid[ae]. The males, and in some species the females, have solid antlers, often much branched, which are shed annually. Their flesh, for which they are hunted, is called venison.
Note: The deer hunted in England is Cervus elaphus, called also stag or red deer; the fallow deer is Cervus dama; the common American deer is Cervus Virginianus; the blacktailed deer of Western North America is Cervus Columbianus; and the mule deer of the same region is Cervus macrotis. See Axis, Fallow deer, Mule deer, Reindeer.
Note: Deer is much used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound; as, deerkiller, deerslayer, deerslaying, deer hunting, deer stealing, deerlike, etc.
Deer mouse (Zo["o]l.), the white-footed mouse ( Peromyscus leucopus, formerly Hesperomys leucopus) of America.
Small deer, petty game, not worth pursuing; -- used metaphorically. (See citation from Shakespeare under the first definition, above.) ``Minor critics . . . can find leisure for the chase of such small deer.''
--G. P. Marsh.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English deor "animal, beast," from Proto-Germanic *deuzam, the general Germanic word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (cognates: Old Frisian diar, Dutch dier, Old Norse dyr, Old High German tior, German Tier "animal," Gothic dius "wild animal," also see reindeer), from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from root *dheu- (1) "cloud, breath" (cognates: Lithuanian dusti "gasp," dvesti "gasp, perish;" Old Church Slavonic dychati "breathe").\n
\nFor prehistoric sense development, compare Latin animal from anima "breath"). Sense specialization to a specific animal began in Old English (usual Old English for what we now call a deer was heorot; see hart), common by 15c., now complete. Probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (compare Sanskrit mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). Deer-lick is first attested 1778, in an American context.
n. 1 A ruminant mammal with antlers and hoof of the family ''Cervidae'', or one of several similar animals from related families of the order ''Artiodactyla''. 2 (lb en in particular) One of the smaller animals of this family, distinguished from a ''moose'' or ''elk''. 3 The meat of such an animal; venison. 4 (context obsolete especially in the phrase "small deer" English) A beast, especially a quadruped and especially a mammal, as opposed to a bird, fish, etc.
n. distinguished from Bovidae by the male's having solid deciduous antlers [syn: cervid]
Usage examples of "deer".
A hogshead of ale was abroach under an oak, and a fire was blazing in an open space before the trees to roast the fat deer which the foresters brought.
Tapirs, deer, agouti and other game fell before his arrows, until he had accumulated enough to supply the cabin for weeks to come.
With a deer rib bone whose end she had hollowed out to make a small depression, she fed him the agrimony concentration in small sips sometime near midnight.
Startled, the deer sprang away on slender legs and Alec set off to see what he could forage.
Again the swift coureurs de bois, half-savage in their ambassadorship of the woods, follow the traces of the most ancient roadmakers, the buffalo and deer, and the voyageurs carry their boats across the portage places.
There was always deer sausage on the stove, and a gumbo full of oysters, shrimp, crabmeat, chicken, Andouille sausage would brim green bubbling.
I hae a deer I gie them twa shots, ane for the deer and ane for mysell.
I finished mounting antennas, rain gauge, wind vane, and anemometer on the roof of our control tower, it looked more like some scientific outpost than a deer blind.
A deer is seen in Tro-Cortesianus 92d seated on a mat opposite a female figure in the same manner as the armadillo on the same page and a dog on the preceding page.
Mai, they herded cattle on the grasslands and pigs in the patches of woodland that stood between the fields, and the young men of the tribe hunted boar and deer and aurochs and bear and wolf in the wild woods that had now been pressed back beyond the temples.
Frequently, too, snares for deer are set in suitable places along the barrier, and while the snares are made of babiche the loops are kept open with blades of grass.
In the distance, she saw several on the river fishing, while two more crossed the bateau bridge, carrying a slain deer on a pole between them.
On the dais was a throne of carven ivory, and above it a canopy of baudekin of the goodliest fashion, and there was a foot-carpet before it, wrought with beasts and the hunting of the deer.
Tip reached the bayberry bush, paused to yap once at her master, and then wriggled through the bush and after the deer.
Rennie arrived in Pendleton on September 23, 1933the same year that the Kicking Deers lost a child they believed had become the Umatilla Wolf Boy.