Etymology
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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.

shepherd (v.)

1790, "to herd sheep," from shepherd (n.). The metaphoric sense of "watch over or guide" is first recorded 1820. Related: Shepherded; shepherding.

updated on April 03, 2014

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Definitions of shepherd from WordNet
1
shepherd (v.)
watch over like a shepherd, as a teacher of her pupils;
shepherd (v.)
tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats;
2
shepherd (n.)
a clergyman who watches over a group of people;
shepherd (n.)
a herder of sheep (on an open range); someone who keeps the sheep together in a flock;
Synonyms: sheepherder / sheepman
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.