ca·​nine | \ ˈkā-ˌnīn How to pronounce canine (audio) , British also ˈka- \

Definition of canine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 [Middle English, from Latin (dens) caninus canine tooth] : a conical pointed tooth especially : one situated between the lateral incisor and the first premolar — see tooth illustration
2 : dog sense 1a broadly : canid



Definition of canine (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or resembling that of a dog canine loyalty
2 : of or relating to dogs or to the family (Canidae) including the canids canine diseases

Synonyms for canine

Synonyms: Noun

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Dogs are prized for their talents and intelligence but aren't always given credit for their independence. Instead, tales of canine devotion and attachment are legendary; the old Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin television series featured at least one heroic act of devotion per show. So we often hear people described as having "doglike devotion" or "doglike loyalty". But canine itself, unlike doglike, usually refers to four-legged creatures. Canine is not only an adjective but also a noun. Dogs and their relatives in the Canidae family—the wolves, jackals, foxes, and coyotes—are often called canines. And so are those two slightly pointed teeth a bit to the right and left of your front teeth.

Examples of canine in a Sentence

Noun in the minds of some, the winner of this prestigious dog show has a fair claim to the title of King of the Canines
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The following day, a team of county investigators assisted by the Lawrence County Rescue Squad and its canine searched the family property with no success, according to then-Sheriff Gene Mitchell. al, 3 May 2022 Courtney Udvar-Hazy, who has a popular social media account dedicated to her dog Willow, recently spoke to TODAY about cloning her canine after the pet died four years ago. Vanessa Etienne,, 19 Apr. 2022 Centuries of career focus have clearly left a legacy in canine genes. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 28 Apr. 2022 The Great Birmingham Humane Society has temporarily suspended all canine adoptions due to distemper exposure. William Thornton |, al, 28 Apr. 2022 The idea that certain breeds reliably exhibit distinct behaviors is baked into dog shows, obedience training and canine DNA tests, not to mention laws targeting breeds deemed prone to aggression. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Prosecutors also alleged that Green admitted the crime to others, that Hallock identified Green in a police lineup, and shoe prints and a tracking canine linked Green to the crime. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, 27 Apr. 2022 Every shipment includes a dropper that is canine safe as well as an easy-to-use dosage chart printed on the bottle. The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Apr. 2022 The canine is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, according to KMSP. Stephanie Wenger,, 25 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the buddy dramedy (in theaters Friday), Tatum co-directs and stars as Briggs, an Army Ranger taking a canine war-hero Belgian Malinois (also named Lulu), on an eventful road trip to the funeral of her handler. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2022 Caged dogs used to be sole source of canine blood supply in California. Seth Liss, Los Angeles Times, 11 Oct. 2021 Following the long tradition of canine political leadership in Rabbit Hash, Lady ran for mayor in 2016, but was edged out of office by Brynneth Pawltrow, a pitbull. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 31 Aug. 2021 Engineers keep endowing robots with human or now canine characteristics. Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2021 And a new liquid biopsy has made canine bladder cancer, which can be mistaken for bladder stones or urinary tract infections, easy to diagnose, even in an early stage. Amy Sutherland, Scientific American, 30 Dec. 2019 If someone was casting an all-canine version of a Cheech and Chong movie, Archie would have been a shoo-in. Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2020 This new analysis of both canine and human DNA reveals new details of our evolving relationship with our furry friends. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Nov. 2020 Push the lever, and a dozen ice-slices tumbled out with almost canine enthusiasm. James Lileks, Star Tribune, 1 Nov. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of canine


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canine


Latin caninus, from canis dog — more at hound

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Time Traveler for canine

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The first known use of canine was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near canine



canine chorea

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Statistics for canine

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Canine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for canine


ca·​nine | \ ˈkā-ˌnīn How to pronounce canine (audio) \

Kids Definition of canine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pointed tooth next to the incisors
2 : a domestic dog or a related animal (as a wolf or fox)



Kids Definition of canine (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the domestic dog or a related animal canine behavior
2 : like or typical of a dog canine loyalty


ca·​nine | \ ˈkā-ˌnīn, British also ˈkan-ˌīn \

Medical Definition of canine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a conical pointed tooth especially : one situated between the lateral incisor and the first premolar
2 : any member of the family Canidae : dog



Medical Definition of canine (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to dogs or to the family Canidae

More from Merriam-Webster on canine

Nglish: Translation of canine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canine for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canine


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