A hound is a type of dog with big floppy ears, mainly used for hunting. To hound someone is to relentlessly pursue or pester them. When Elvis sings, “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog,” he’s referring to both.

Hounds are dogs that have traditionally been used for hunting because they are excellent at tracking. Most hounds (like beagles and dachshunds) have drooping, floppy ears. Hounds can also be big and scary like the one Sherlock Holmes investigates in The Hound of the Baskervilles. If people hound, they hunt, too, but just in an annoying way. A man can hound a woman by asking for a date 10 times. A hounding person is persistent and probably annoying.

Definitions of hound
  1. noun
    any of several breeds of dog used for hunting typically having large drooping ears
    synonyms: hound dog
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    Afghan, Afghan hound
    tall graceful breed of hound with a long silky coat; native to the Near East
    basset, basset hound
    smooth-haired breed of hound with short legs and long ears
    a small short-legged smooth-coated breed of hound
    bloodhound, sleuthhound
    a breed of large powerful hound of European origin having very acute smell and used in tracking
    a very fast American hound; white mottled with bluish grey
    large hound used in hunting wild boars
    any of several breeds of hound developed for hunting raccoons
    medium-sized glossy-coated hounds developed for hunting foxes
    a hound that resembles a foxhound but is smaller; used to hunt rabbits
    Plott hound
    a brindle-coated American hound used in hunting bears and wild boars
    a speedy red or red-and-tan American hound
    the largest breed of dogs; formerly used to hunt wolves
    a tall slender dog of an ancient breed noted for swiftness and keen sight; used as a racing dog
    Ibizan Podenco, Ibizan hound
    breed of slender agile medium-sized hound found chiefly in the Balearic Islands; said to have been bred originally by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt
    Norwegian elkhound, elkhound
    breed of compact medium-sized dog with a heavy grey coat developed in Norway for hunting elk
    otter hound, otterhound
    hardy British hound having long pendulous ears and a thick coarse shaggy coat with an oily undercoat; bred for hunting otters
    Saluki, gazelle hound
    old breed of tall swift keen-eyed hunting dogs resembling greyhounds; from Egypt and southwestern Asia
    Scottish deerhound, deerhound
    very large and tall rough-coated dog bred for hunting deer; known as the royal dog of Scotland
    a large heavy hound formerly used in hunting stags and other large game; similar to but larger than a foxhound
    large breed of hound having a smooth greyish coat; originated in Germany
    any dog trained to hunt raccoons
    black-and-tan coonhound
    American breed of large powerful hound dogs used for hunting raccoons and other game
    American foxhound
    an American breed of foxhounds used for hunting both in packs and individually
    Walker foxhound, Walker hound
    an American breed of foxhound
    English foxhound
    an English breed slightly larger than the American foxhounds originally used to hunt in packs
    Russian wolfhound, borzoi
    tall fast-moving dog breed
    Irish wolfhound
    large breed of hound with a rough thick coat
    Italian greyhound
    a toy dog developed from the greyhound
    small slender dog of greyhound type developed in England
    type of:
    hunting dog
    a dog used in hunting game
  2. verb
    pursue or chase relentlessly
    “the detectives hounded the suspect until they found him”
    synonyms: hunt, trace
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    hound or harry relentlessly
    type of:
    chase, chase after, dog, give chase, go after, tag, tail, track, trail
    go after with the intent to catch
  3. noun
    someone who is morally reprehensible
    synonyms: blackguard, bounder, cad, dog, heel
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    type of:
    scoundrel, villain
    a wicked or evil person; someone who does evil deliberately
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