Sam·o·yed (sămə-yĕd′, -oi-ĕd′, sə-moiĭd)
a. A subdivision of the Uralic language family of extreme northwestern Russia that includes Nenets.
b. Nenets. No longer in technical use.
2. A dog of a medium-sized breed developed in northern Eurasia as a sled dog, having a thick white coat and a bushy tail carried over the back.
[Obsolete Russian samoyed, Nenets person, member of a people speaking a Samoyedic language, from alteration of samod, samoyad (taken as samo-, self; see SAMOVAR + -ed, eater; see ed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots), of unknown origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.