1. [F. Terrier, chien terrier, from terre the earth, L. Terra; cf. F. Terrier a burrow, LL. Terrarium a hillock (hence the sense, a mound thrown up in making a burrow, a burrow). See terrace, and cf. Terrier, 2.
(Science: zoology) One of a breed of small dogs, which includes several distinct subbreeds, some of which, such as the skye terrier and Yorkshire terrier, have long hair and drooping ears, while others, at the english and the black-and-tan terriers, have short, close, smooth hair and upright ears.
most kinds of terriers are noted for their courage, the acuteness of their sense of smell, their propensity to hunt burrowing animals, and their activity in destroying rats, etc. See fox terrier, under Fox.
Formerly, a collection of acknowledgments of the vassals or tenants of a lordship, containing the rents and services they owed to the lord, and the like. In modern usage, a book or roll in which the lands of private persons or corporations are described by their site, boundaries, number of acres, or the like.
Alternative forms: terrar.