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"Canine" is for dog, "Porcine" for pig, "Equine" for horse. Is there an adjective for deer-like?

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    I totally agree with Glorfindels answer, but if you are looking for a word that is understood by the vast majority of people, there is nothing wrong with just using "deer-like" as an adjective. And that goes for more from Latin derived similar words. Most people would probably associate Porcine with porcupines in stead of pigs. Canine is really well-known, but others much less so. Equine (and Bovine) are sort of in between. Many people will know the word, while others go "WTF?" if you use it.
    – Tonny
    Mar 26, 2021 at 9:54

2 Answers 2

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cervine

of, relating to, or resembling deer

(source: Merriam-Webster)

With words like these, it sometimes helps if you look up the animal in Wikipedia, check what the Latin-based family name is (cervinae), and look for similar words in a dictionary.

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    No, but neither have I encountered porcine.
    – Glorfindel
    Mar 25, 2021 at 20:11
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    Your last para is very much "give a fishhook instead of a fish", and I thought the best part of your answer. +1 Mar 25, 2021 at 20:44
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    Buy an old paperback Latin dictionary. There are dozens of them and they're cheap. They also don't go out of style. If you want a technical term, look up the Latin word for what you want and then check that in an English dictionary. Chances are you'll find it. Mar 25, 2021 at 20:45
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    There's also ovine for sheep, hircine for goats (some Elder Scrolls fans just had a moment of epiphany reading that), piscine for fish, as well as more well-known ones, feline and serpentine should need no explanation. Mar 26, 2021 at 15:43
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    @SomeGuy One might read about a porcine sheriff or mother-in-law, or a clever news article may use "pig" twice and then "porcine" to mix it up. Fantasy novels have warriors of ursine physiques (and everyone knows Ursa major is the big bear), Dungeons&Dragons bear-people are called Ursines. I knew ovine from memory but had to double-check -- maybe a cartoon wolf said it to a sheepdog as they punched the clock. Mar 26, 2021 at 17:52
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"Deerlike" is a dictionary word (which also happens to be an adjective):

(in British English)

ADJECTIVE

  • resembling a deer

(Collins dictionary)

However, cervine appears to be used more frequently than deerlike:

enter image description here

Google Ngram


You could also use:

[Even-toed] Ungulate

Ungulates (pronounced /ˈʌŋɡjəleɪts/ UNG-gyə-layts) are members of a diverse clade of primarily large mammals with hooves.

The term means, roughly, "being hoofed" or "hoofed animal".

There are two types of ungulates:

Wikipedia

Hence, "deerlike" mammals can also be referred to as "even-toed ungulates".

Note that this is a general term and can apply to other hoofed mammals too..


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    Ungulates (even if you restrict it to "even-toed") includes so many things that are not deer, it might be too general to be of use in this situation. Mar 26, 2021 at 15:32

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