The word furry has several meanings, dependent on the context in which it is used. Predominantly, it pertains to an interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or mythological or imaginary creatures which possess human or superhuman capabilities. The plural form of furry in all its contexts is furs or furries; the subjects of furry interest are also known as furries.

Thanks to the public eye, such as an article in Vanity Fair and the television program CSI, furries are often stereotyped as an overweight middle-aged guy with a bestiality fetish and a habit of dressing up in fursuits and "getting it on" with poor, defenseless plushies in holes they dug in the forest before eating berries, though most recognize that as somewhat of an exaggerated stereotype. Someone who says they are furry is generally expressing an interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or creatures. How deep or meaningful that interest is varies greatly from person to person. Also, the breadth of a person's interest in the fandom, and what ultimately makes them furry, is specific to each individual. Below is a list of common interests with which a fur is likely to identify. A furry may be interested in any or all of them, to any degree. Someone claiming to be furry would also be part of the furry fandom.
Interest in anthropomorphic animals and/or creatures can be as simple as the many popular furry cartoon characters, known as funny animals. These may include Bugs Bunny, Tony the Tiger, Sly Cooper, Star Fox, etc. However, someone who merely happens to like these characters is not necessarily a furry; the degree and nature of one's interest is relevant here.

Some furs believe they have a spiritual connection to a particular animal which is typically their fursona, but also may be a totem. Strong spiritual believers may often say that they are "an animal in a human body" (and in fact may identify themselves as Otherkin, Weres and/or Therians). Furry lifestylers often fall into this category.
Some furs may be interested only in the creative aspects of the furry fandom. Furry content, both online and off, is easy to obtain, and available in vast amounts, and furs produce new works regularly. Furry artwork is also done by many nonfurries as well in targeting the fandom. Others may disassociate themselves from the fandom and refer to themselves as funny animal artists. Furries may also enjoy role-playing a particular furry character or fursona, sometimes writing about this character or recording their online interactions for posterity.
A relatively common practice among furries is to dress up in a costume that is typically designed after a fursona. These "fursuits" are usually worn at conventions, and a few are even designed to accommodate sexual situations.
To some furs, the sexual attraction to anthropomorphic animals is a part of what makes them furry. This is a topic of much controversy, as it has been the subject of early media attention (such as that from Wired Magazine and Vanity Fair), and has spawned a few groups (such as the Burned Furs) with a desire to shame or suppress those who display their philias in public.
From within the fandom, anything classified as an anthropomorphic animal and/or creature could be called a furry. That could be anything from Scooby Doo to various sports mascots to Omaha the Cat Dancer. Since mainstream characters are generally not created with furries in mind, the furry context is presumed by most outsiders to not be present despite subcultural interest.
Any art showcasing anthropomorphic animals is generally considered furry artwork. Artwork that contains furries in sexual situations may be called yiff or spooge art.

Anthropomorphic creatures that are also considered to be furry include (but are not limited to): dragons and lizards (also known as "scalies"), gryphons, and taurs (centaurs being the prime example).
Julie-Shaun draws those animal-people... Is he a furry?
Devon-Yeah..
Julie-Does that mean he's into that weird sex stuff with costumes and animals?!
Devon- Nah, most of them dont do stuff like that...
Julie-Really, but I heard it on TV and you cant just make up stuff and put it on TV without solid facts behind it!
Devon-...
by Anon Ihmus March 28, 2007
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There is no one single definition of what a furry is. Even within the furry fandom, people cannot always agree on just what makes a person a furry or not.

Some would argue that to be a furry, you must think and talk like one (i.e. use furry specific words and phrases). Even if you go to conventions, wear a fursuit, draw the art, writes the stories etc but don't talk using furry lingo, you're not a furry. Basically, someone that may walk the walk but doesn’t talk the talk.

Others would argue that even liking anthropomorphic creatures makes you a furry. You may have no idea the furry fandom exists or have ever heard of a furry convention, let alone any of the websites; simply liking 'anthro' critters makes you a furry.

The way I see it, if or if you don’t consider yourself a furry is a matter of personal opinion.

As with any hobby, most furries are normal people just like anyone you'll meet at work/school or going to/from work/school or anywhere. Then there is the small percent that are hard core fans and have taken what for most is a hobby and perverted it (sometimes in an all to literal sense).

As is with so many other things in life, the few that take it too far tend to be the loudest. The silent majority are often forced into silence by the loud majority for fear that people will label them as being in the same class as the minority that have perverted it.

One unfortunate side effect of the internet and the relative anonymity that some sites grant their users is people are able to engage in activities (even if only on a virtual level) that they would never even consider doing in real life. An example of this is trolls of message boards that say things to people they’d never say to them in person. I think a lot of the stereotypes associated with furries are because of this.

In conclusion, as with any hobby, there are some furries that have taken it too far and/or perverted what for many is a fun harmless hobby.
If only the silent majority were not so silent, people would realise there is more to furries then perversion.
by Annoymous January 16, 2005
Ok, an attempt at a balanced definition. I am NOT a furry but both sides hear me out before reaching for that thumbs down.

Furries are a relatively recent phenomenon which has been catapulted into near-mainstreamness almost solely because of the internet. It is obvious furries are very much victims of tarring the majority with the brush of an "unappealing" minority.

In the simplest sense furries are fans of anthropromorphic animals. That is, animals with human like features or tendencies (Fox McCloud, Sonic the Hedgehog... etc) pretty much all furries will create their own character or "fursona" for use as an art model and roleplaying, the designs of which vary wildly dependant on the artists skill and eye for contrasting colours (You get both amazing and appalling furry artists, and a wide skill range between these two) some furries can work wonders when it comes to creating a character on second life

The above paragraph is an apt description of your standard "furry", however there is a small but VERY vocal minority of the "yiff yiff" kind of division. Even though this sort of furry probably only takes up 1/10th of the fandom this is by FAR the type you hear about most often from anti-furry biased sources.

Furry porn is dangerously close to bestiality. Sorry to anyone who likes it, but it is... However the ones who like it seem to be in a minority, with the ones liking the odd fetishes like "vore" and "macro" a very small minority indeed.

Furries get a lot of crap thrown at them on the internet in relation to the activities of the minority of their fanbase. They have a reputation to reacting to this in an over the top manner (such as comparing their treatment to the Holocaust), which realy doesn't do them many favours.

However on the whole they are just a group of people who are fans of a single concept, seem to know how to have fun, and are doing alright for themselves in terms of publicity.
Furries: Do you wanna see my new cat character?
by PsychoFox December 03, 2007
Possibly the strangest sub-culture in all of geekdom. Furries range from being harmless fans fascinated by anthropomorphic characters and animals, to immensely withdrawn or self-abosrbed persons who actually believe, or want to believe, they're eagle-winged fox-like versions of themselves with giant gentalia who wouldn't dare be anything else that could be considered mundane. Furries defy any coventional or unifying definition.
Jody's favorite book is Redwall. She must be a furry.
by Red Devil Slim April 08, 2004
n., adj. In the broadest definition, someone who finds the idea of anthropomorphic (humanlike) animals, in art, fiction, cartoons, costume, or other media, to be an appealing one. Furries are an extremely diverse group and no one furry may possess all, or any, of the traits typically associated with the group; furries can range from people who are fans of old Warner Bros. and Disney cartoons; people who enjoy portraying anthropomorphic animals in art; people who enjoy imagining what a future, past or alternative world might be like if humans were replaced with or accompanied by anthropomorphic animals; and people who like wearing costume tails, ears and/or animal mascot costumes, to those who feel spiritual connections to animals or to the animal form; those who admire the beauty, power, speed or grace of of the animal form; those who believe they have empathy with or can communicate with animals, for example people who work with them; people who have a great deal of respect for animal welfare; and people who find the concept of anthropomorphic animals enjoyable in a sexual way. (Amongst many, many other things.)

Those who do enjoy the erotic/adult side of furry are, like those who participate in any other sexual fetish or behaviour, almost always harmless in their indulgence of their fantasies, which usually involves erotic art and roleplay, and may involve consenting activities with fellow adults while in costume. Why people get uptight about what is such a cute, silly and affectionate expression of pleasure between two (or more) consenting adults when there's much worse out there to get worked up about such as child abuse, I'll never understand.

It's about fun, people. Try it sometime.
n. Furries often attend conventions.

adj. Furry art incoroprates many diverse forms of media.
by Spritedust May 15, 2004
1. adjective.: having or coated in fur.
2. adjective.: being related to the 'furry' community, such as artwork, stories.
3. mistake.: A misspelling of fury =P
4. noun.:
a. One who shows interest in things that can be described with the 'furry' adjective.
b. One who prefers to imagine themself as more animalistic than they are.

Other related definitions:
stereotype-furry:
Derogatory generalization of how many 'furry-haters' see the noun form of 'furries' as, usually portrayed as pitiful homosexual men who dress up as the animal they like or 'want to fuck' the most, and have sex with their animals. This is in fact not what 99% of 'furries' are like, however, being the most widely publicized, it is also the most widely criticized.

furry-hater:
One who takes it upon themselves to be prejudice against the noun form of 'furries', usually assuming that all 'furries' are 'stereotypical furries', needlessly persuing some sort of apparent need to let everyone know that they hate 'furries'

99% of all furries:
Some draw, some write, some read, some listen to stories, most keep to themselves because of 'furry-haters'
Just like everyone else, some are male, some are female, and just like everyone else, some are gay, some are straight, and just like everyone else, most go to school or have a job.
Personally I consider myself a furry, I have an online persona of myself with ears and a fox tail, I am male, I'm straight, I don't draw a lot of furry art because I'm not that good at it, I don't write stories for the same reason. I do read other peoples' stories and look at their art, I have no sexual interest in actual animals (see zoophiles and bestiality folks)
I go to college, and have a job, I'm not fat either.
I'm just a furry
*wags his tail happily*
And any furry-hater who doesn't like me because of it, too bad, it's who I am.
by Liero December 19, 2004
Simply - One who has an interest (small or large) of anthropomorphic animals (animals who have a human qualities be it simply talking or having a human-like body).

One who has an interest in anthropomorphic animals. Does not mean wanting to have sex with them.
Let's go check out the family-friendly art at the <furry convention>.
by Master_stghm June 23, 2005
A subgroup of science fiction and fantasy fans who focus on cartoon animals, anthropomorphic animals, or human-animal hybrids.
by Anonymous April 02, 2003

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