What does Shepherd mean?

Definitions for Shepherd
ˈʃɛp ərdshep·herd

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Shepherd.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. shepherdnoun

    a clergyman who watches over a group of people

  2. sheepherder, shepherd, sheepmanverb

    a herder of sheep (on an open range); someone who keeps the sheep together in a flock

  3. shepherdverb

    watch over like a shepherd, as a teacher of her pupils

  4. shepherdverb

    tend as a shepherd, as of sheep or goats


  1. shepherdnoun

    A person who tends sheep.

  2. shepherdnoun

    Someone who watches over, looks after, or guides somebody.

    The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; -- The Bible, Psalms 23:1

  3. shepherdverb

    To watch over; to guide

  4. shepherdverb

    For a player to obstruct an opponent from getting to the ball, either when a teammate has it or is going for it, or if the ball is about to bounce through the goal or out of bounds.

  5. Etymology: From sceaphierde, a compound of sceap and hierde.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SHEPHERDnoun

    Etymology: sceap , sheep, and hyrd , a keeper, Saxon, sceapahyrd.

    I am shepherd to another man,
    And do not sheer the fleeces that I graze. William Shakespeare.

    A shepherd next
    More meek came with the firstlings of his flock. John Milton.

    If that the world and love were young,
    And truth in ev’ry shepherd ’s tongue,
    These pretty pleasures might me move
    To live with thee, and be thy love. Walter Raleigh.

    Lead up all those who heard thee, and believ’d;
    ’Midst thy own flock, great shepherd, be receiv’d,
    And glad all heav’n with millions thou hast sav’d. Matthew Prior.


  1. Shepherd

    A shepherd or sheepherder is a person who tends, herds, feeds, or guards flocks of sheep. Shepherd derives from Old English sceaphierde (sceap 'sheep' + hierde 'herder'). Shepherding is one of the world's oldest occupations, it exists in all parts of the globe, and it is an important part of pastoralist animal husbandry. Because of the ubiquity of the profession, many religions and cultures have symbolic or metaphorical references to the shepherd profession. For example, Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd, and ancient Greek mythologies highlighted shepherds such as Endymion and Daphnis. This symbolism and shepherds as characters are at the center of pastoral literature and art.


  1. shepherd

    A shepherd is a person who takes care of, guards, and guides a group of sheep or sometimes other livestock over pastures. The role also extends to protecting these animals from predators, feeding them and tending to their health and needs. The term can also be used metaphorically to refer to anyone who leads or guides a group of individuals.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Shepherdnoun

    a man employed in tending, feeding, and guarding sheep, esp. a flock grazing at large

  2. Shepherdnoun

    the pastor of a church; one with the religious guidance of others

  3. Shepherdverb

    to tend as a shepherd; to guard, herd, lead, or drive, as a shepherd

  4. Etymology: [OE. schepherde, schephirde, AS. scephyrde; scep sheep + hyrde, hirde, heorde, a herd, a guardian. See Sheep, and Herd.]


  1. Shepherd

    A shepherd, or sheepherder, is a person who tends, feeds, or guards flocks of sheep. The word stems from an amalgam of sheep herder.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Shepherd

    shep′ėrd, n. one who herds sheep: a swain: a pastor:—fem. Shep′herdess.—v.t. to tend as a shepherd: to watch over, protect the interests of, or one's own interests in.—ns. Shep′herdism, pastoral life; Shep′herdling, a little shepherd; Shep′herd's-crook, a long staff, its upper end curved into a hook; Shep′herd's-dog, a dog specially trained to help in tending sheep, the collie or Scotch sheep-dog, &c.; Shep′herd's-flute, a flageolet or the like; Shep′herd's-nee′dle, an annual plant, called also Venus's comb; Shep′herd's-plaid, -tar′tan, a woollen cloth made with black and white checks: this form of pattern itself; Shep′herd's-pouch, -purse, an annual cruciferous plant, with compressed, somewhat heart-shaped seed-vessel; Shep′herd's-rod, -staff, a small kind of teasel.—Shepherd kings (see Hyksos).—The Good Shepherd, a title of Jesus Christ (John, x. 11); The Shepherds, a sect of fanatical shepherds in France about 1251 A.D., eager to deliver the imprisoned Louis IX. [A.S. sceáp-hyrde. Sheep and herd.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    One who depends on a crook for a living.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Shepherd is ranked #557 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Shepherd surname appeared 60,479 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 21 would have the surname Shepherd.

    78.6% or 47,561 total occurrences were White.
    15.9% or 9,640 total occurrences were Black.
    2% or 1,234 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.9% or 1,179 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 538 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 327 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Shepherd?

How to say Shepherd in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Shepherd in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Shepherd in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of Shepherd in a Sentence

  1. Julie Linton:

    What we know about the social determinants of health that can impact through someone's lifespan is that children are best able to achieve their dreams and survive trauma when they have access to safety and support and have a loving adult in their life that can shepherd them through childhood, these families are undergoing this treacherous journey feeling that they have no choice but to seek safety for their families elsewhere.

  2. Martin Luther:

    A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach he must have teeth in his mouth, and be able to bite and fight.

  3. Cleveland Clinic:

    Her contractions were about 10 minutes apart, so [Shepherd] and I began to monitor her vital signs and keep her comfortable.

  4. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick:

    We can get introductions to the city governments, the government officials that want to shepherd our kind of innovation and our kind of progress into their cities.

  5. Northrop Frye:

    The metaphor of the king as the shepherd of his people goes back to ancient Egypt. Perhaps the use of this particular convention is due to the fact that, being stupid, affectionate, gregarious, and easily stampeded, the societies formed by sheep are most like human ones.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Shepherd

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"Shepherd." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Shepherd>.

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    a game in which players throw or flip a jackknife in various ways so that the knife sticks in the ground
    • A. sapling
    • B. exponent
    • C. mumblety-peg
    • D. sundog

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