gathering sheep


Senior Member
The following sentences are cited from a textbook for English learners:
In the American show The Amazing Race, 11 pairs of contestants race around the world and have to complete different tasks on the way. These include the ordinary (play volleyball, gathering sheep),...
What does "gathering sheep" mean?
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    WR dictionary gather
    gather /ˈɡæðə/vb
    • to assemble or cause to assemble
    • to collect or be collected gradually; muster
    • (transitive) to learn from information given; conclude or assume
    • (transitive) to pick or harvest (flowers, fruit, etc)
    • (tr; followed by to or into) to clasp or embrace: the mother gathered the child into her arms
    • (transitive) to bring close (to) or wrap (around): she gathered her shawl about her shoulders
    • to increase or cause to increase gradually, as in force, speed, intensity, etc
    • to contract (the brow) or (of the brow) to become contracted into wrinkles; knit
    • (transitive) to assemble (sections of a book) in the correct sequence for binding
    • (transitive) to collect by making a selection
    • (transitive) to prepare or make ready: to gather one's wits
    • to draw (material) into a series of small tucks or folds by passing a thread through it and then pulling it tight
    • (intransitive) (of a boil or other sore) to come to a head; form pus
    meaning 2
    sheep /ʃiːp/n ( pl sheep)
    • any of various bovid mammals of the genus Ovis and related genera, esp O. aries (domestic sheep), having transversely ribbed horns and a narrow face. There are many breeds of domestic sheep, raised for their wool and for meat
    • Barbary sheep
      another name for aoudad
    • a meek or timid person, esp one without initiative
    • separate the sheep from the goats ⇒ to pick out the members of any group who are superior in some respects
    meaning 1.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Sheep do not "scatter everywhere." They stay together, more or less., in flocks. They do, however, need to be collected on occasion for various purposes, e.g. shearing, security, slaughter, etc.

    Idiomatically, at least in AE, we "gather sheep" when we collect them for one purpose or another.
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