Etymology
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herd (v.)
mid-13c., "to watch over or herd (livestock);" of animals, "gather in a herd, go in a herd, form a flock," late 14c. From herd (n.1). Transitive sense of "to form (animals, people, etc.) into a herd" is from 1590s. Related: Herded; herding.
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herd (n.2)
"keeper of a flock of domestic animals," Old English hierde, from the source of herd (v.). Now obsolete except in compounds. Compare Old Saxon hirdi, Middle Dutch hirde, German Hirte, Old Norse hirðir.
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herd (n.1)
Old English heord "herd, flock, company of domestic animals," also, rarely, "a keeping, care, custody," from Proto-Germanic *herdo (source also of Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda "herd"), from PIE *kerdh- "a row, group, herd" (source also of Sanskrit śárdhah "herd, troop," Old Church Slavonic čreda "herd," Greek korthys "heap," Lithuanian kerdžius "shepherd"). Of any animals, wild or domestic, from c. 1200; of people, often in a disparaging sense, from c. 1400. Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1886.
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ox-herd (n.)

also oxherd, "a keeper or herder of oxen," late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), from ox + herd (n.2).

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goatherd (n.)
"one whose occupation is the care of goats," early 13c. (as a surname), from or replacing Old English gat-hyrde (West Saxon); see goat + herd (n.).
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herdsman (n.)
"one employed in tending a herd of cattle," an alteration of Middle English herdman, from Old English heordman; see herd (n.1) + man (n.). The word was not common until the noun herd (n.2) in sense "keeper of domestic animals which go in herds" fell from use (compare shepherd). The unetymological -s- appeared early 15c., on model of craftsman, etc.
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shepherd (n.)
Old English sceaphierde, from sceap "sheep" (see sheep) + hierde "herder," from heord "a herd" (see herd (n.)). Similar formation in Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schaphirde, Middle High German schafhirte, German dialectal Schafhirt. Shepherds customarily were buried with a tuft of wool in hand, to prove on Doomsday their occupation and be excused for often missing Sunday church. Shepherd's pie is recorded from 1877.
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gregarious (adj.)

1660s, "disposed to live in flocks" (of animals), from Latin gregarius "pertaining to a flock; of the herd, of the common sort, common," from grex (genitive gregis) "flock, herd," from PIE *gre-g-, reduplicated form of root *ger- "to gather." Of persons, "sociable," first recorded 1789. Related: Gregariously; gregariousness.

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ranch (v.)

"to work on or conduct a ranch, herd cattle," 1866, from ranch (n.). Related: Ranched; ranching.

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