attack dog


Definition of attack dog 

1 : a dog trained to attack on command or on sight

2 : a person noted for harsh, personal, and usually public verbal attacks against others a political attack dog usually hyphenated when used before another noun attack-dog tactics

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Synonyms for attack dog



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Examples of attack dog in a Sentence

The charges against the candidate were made by one of the governor's attack dogs. his reputation as a political attack dog earned him the vice presidential spot on the ticket

Recent Examples on the Web

Their security measures included using safe houses, countless rental cars and trained attack dogs. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "9 years of fear: Ex-wife of Scottsdale-area shooter describes him as her 'personal terrorist'," 12 June 2018 So, Fudge's sample ballot drew a strong rebuke from Dennis Kucinich's campaign, whose lawyer and attack dog, Marty Gelfand, complained to the Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. Mark Naymik,, "May 8 primary's big winners and big losers: Mark Naymik," 9 May 2018 The first known use of an attack dog to bite an inmate to get him out of his jail cell in Oregon amounts to an excessive use of force, a federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges. Maxine Bernstein,, "Former inmate bitten by police dog files $500,000 lawsuit against Columbia County," 14 May 2018 Animal Services said the attacking dogs were in the care of a dog walker hired through an app. Houston Chronicle, "Houston parks where your dog can be a dog," 10 May 2018 Cohen also became Trump’s attack dog, particularly with journalists. Michael Kranish,, "How Trump’s ‘fixer’ could provide Robert Mueller a break," 22 Apr. 2018 Cohen also became Trump's attack dog, particularly with journalists., "With Michael Cohen investigation, Trump's 'fixer' becomes a danger," 21 Apr. 2018 Why is one of the greatest attack dogs in the history of the Congress saying, don't talk about impeachment? Fox News, "Corker on what foreign policy will look like under Pompeo," 29 Apr. 2018 The attacking dog's owner, who was also injured trying to separate the canines, was cited for animals running at large, no valid tag and registration and dangerous dog. John Benson,, "Apartment burglar steals cash, cologne and medication: Brooklyn Police Blotter," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attack dog.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of attack dog

1939, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of attack dog was in 1939

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More Definitions for attack dog

attack dog


English Language Learners Definition of attack dog

: a dog that has been trained to attack people

: a person who is known for making very harsh and personal criticisms of other people

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Comments on attack dog

What made you want to look up attack dog? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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