noun \ˈspan-yəl also ˈspa-nəl\

: a type of small dog that has long ears and a soft coat

Full Definition of SPANIEL

:  a member of any of several breeds of small or medium-sized mostly short-legged dogs usually having long wavy hair, feathered legs and tail, and large drooping ears
:  a fawning servile person

Origin of SPANIEL

Middle English spaynel, spaniell, from Anglo-French espainnel, alteration of espaignol Spaniard, from Vulgar Latin *Hispaniolus, from Latin Hispania Spain
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with SPANIEL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Cocker spaniel.—Sally Anne Thompson/EB Inc.

Any of several breeds of dogs used to flush game. Spaniels originated in Spain, but most modern breeds were developed in Britain. Breeds range from 14 to 20 in. (36–51 cm) and from 22 to 55 lbs (10–25 kg). The larger breeds are called springers, the smaller ones cockers. Breeds include the cocker spaniel, a round-headed, floppy-eared dog; the English and Welsh springer spaniels; the American water spaniel, a curly-coated, dark brown dog; the Brittany spaniel, a short-tailed French dog and the only spaniel that points; the Clumber spaniel, a low-slung, long-bodied dog; the Irish water spaniel, a water retriever; the Japanese spaniel; and the English toy spaniel.


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