1. One who herds, guards, and tends sheep.
2. One who cares for and guides a group of people, as a minister or teacher.
3. A German shepherd.
tr.v. shep·herd·ed, shep·herd·ing, shep·herds
1. To herd or tend as a shepherd. See Synonyms at guide.
2. To guide or lead on a course: The counselors shepherded the campers toward the waterfront.
3. To direct or instruct in a certain manner: shepherded the student through algebra.
[Middle English shepherde, from Old English scēaphierde : scēap, sheep + hierde, herdsman.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.