American bulldog


Definition of American bulldog

: any of a breed of powerful, muscular dogs developed in the U.S. that have a short smooth coat, a large head, and a wide muzzle an American bulldog mix The American bulldog was re-created after World War II to resemble the original long-legged English bulldog, which became extinct after bull baiting was outlawed in England. — Suzanne Hively, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), 9 Sept. 2004

Note: The American bulldog is thought to be descended from working-type dogs that were used for bullbaiting and were brought to colonial America by European immigrants. It has longer legs and is more agile than the short, stocky bulldog (sometimes called the English bulldog) that developed as a breed in England from this same stock.

First Known Use of American bulldog

1891, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of American bulldog was in 1891

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Cite this Entry

“American bulldog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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