(1) Any of several usually small short-bodied breeds originally trained to hunt animals living underground
From Old French (Middle French) chien terrier "terrier dog", or literally "earth dog," from chien 'dog' + terrier (itself ultimately from terra 'earth')
- A dog from a group of small, lively breeds, originally bred for the hunting of burrowing prey such as rabbits or foxes.
From M.L. terrarius "of earth," from terra "earth"
Most terrier breeds were developed to hunt vermin both over and under the ground.
- (archaic) relating to the ground, earth -, land -
- enumerating seignorial rights, notably in livre terrier (a register of land)