af·​fen·​pin·​scher ˈa-fən-ˌpin-chər How to pronounce affenpinscher (audio)
: any of a breed of toy dogs with a wiry black, red, tan, or gray coat, erect ears, large round eyes, and bushy eyebrows, chin tuft, and mustache

Examples of affenpinscher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This diminutive pup with the happy little scrunched face is an affenpinscher. Lauren Hansen, The Week, 5 Oct. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'affenpinscher.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German, from Affe "monkey" (going back to Middle High German affe, going back to Old High German affo) + Pinscher, any of various small to medium dog breeds with docked tails and cropped ears (perhaps borrowed from English Pincher, given name for dogs in the early 19th century); from its monkeyish face — more at ape entry 1

Note: Pinscher is attested as a breed name in Germany as early as 1812 (Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen, No. 107, 5. Sept. 1812), though the physical characteristics of the dog at that period are not known. Affenpinscher is known in German from 1852.

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of affenpinscher was in 1880

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Cite this Entry

“Affenpinscher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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