- a number of animals kept, feeding, or traveling together; drove; flock: a herd of cattle; a herd of sheep; a herd of zebras.
- Sometimes Disparaging. a large group of people: The star was mobbed by a herd of autograph seekers.
- any large quantity: a herd of bicycles.
- the herd, the common people; masses; rabble: He had no opinions of his own, but simply followed the herd.
verb (used without object)
- to unite or go in a herd; assemble or associate as a herd.
- ride herd on, to have charge or control of; maintain discipline over: He rode herd on 40 students in each class.
- a herdsman (usually used in combination): a cowherd; a goatherd; a shepherd.
verb (used with object)
- to tend, drive, or lead (cattle, sheep, etc.).
- to conduct or drive (a group of people) to a destination: The teacher herded the children into the classroom.
- a large group of mammals living and feeding together, esp a group of cattle, sheep, etc
- often derogatory a large group of people
- derogatory the large mass of ordinary people
- to collect or be collected into or as if into a herd
- archaic, or dialecta man or boy who tends livestock; herdsman
- (in combination)goatherd; swineherd
- to drive forwards in a large group
- to look after (livestock)
Old English heord “herd, flock,” from Proto-Germanic *herdo- (cf. Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda “herd”), from PIE *kerdh- “a row, group, herd” (cf. Sanskrit śárdhah “herd, troop,” Old Church Slavonic čreda “herd,” Greek korthys “heap,” Lithuanian kerdžius “shepherd”). Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1908.
mid-13c., “to watch over or herd (livestock);” of animals, “to gather in a herd, to form a flock,” late 14c., from herd (n.). Related: Herded; herding.
see ride herd on.