Canaan dog

noun

: any of a breed of medium-sized, square-bodied dogs developed in Israel from pariah dogs of the Negev desert region and having a short, straight, harsh coat and a bushy tail
There are 2,000 to 3,000 Canaan dogs across the world, but most are closely related. If the gene pool is not continually strengthened with new bloodlines from the wild, experts say, the breed could develop degenerative diseases. Nicolas Brulliard

Word History

Etymology

Canaan (region of ancient Palestine); translation of New Hebrew kelebh kĕnaʽanī

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Canaan dog was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near Canaan dog

Cite this Entry

“Canaan dog.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Canaan%20dog. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ