English edit

a reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)
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Etymology edit

From Middle English reyndere, reynder, rayne-dere, from Old Norse hreindýri (reindeer), from hreinn (reindeer) + dýr (animal). Compare Dutch rendier (reindeer), German Renntier (reindeer), Swedish rendjur (reindeer), Danish rensdyr (reindeer). Related also to displaced Old English hrān (reindeer).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

reindeer (plural reindeer or reindeers)

  1. (plural: reindeer) Any Arctic and subarctic-dwelling deer of the species Rangifer tarandus, with a number of subspecies.
    Santa Claus' sleigh is supposedly pulled by eight reindeer
    • 1768, D[aniel] Fenning, “LAPLAND”, in The Royal English Dictionary; or, A Treasury of the English Language, 3rd improved edition, London: Printed for R. Baldwin, Hawes and Co., T. Caslon, S. Crowder, J. Johnson, Wilson and Fell, Robinson and Roberts, and B. Collins, →OCLC:
      Here is a prodigious number of wild beaſts, as ſtags, bears, wolves, foxes of various colours, martens, hares, glittens, beavers, otters, elk, and rein deer: the latter is leſs than a stag.
    • 2013 March, Nancy Langston, “Mining the Boreal North”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 2, archived from the original on 13 April 2016, page 98:
      Reindeer are well suited to the taiga’s frigid winters. They can maintain a thermogradient between body core and the environment of up to 100 degrees, in part because of insulation provided by their fur, and in part because of counter-current vascular heat exchange systems in their legs and nasal passages.
  2. (plural: reindeers, biology) Any species, subspecies, ecotype, or other scientific grouping of such animals.

Hyponyms edit

Santa Claus's reindeer

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

reindeer (third-person singular simple present reindeers, present participle reindeering, simple past and past participle reindeered)

  1. To herd or farm reindeer

Further reading edit