noun, often attributive
\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) , ˈdäg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Definition of dog

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : canid wolves, foxes, and other dogs especially : a highly variable domestic mammal (Canis familiaris) closely related to the gray wolf the family's pet dog
b : a male dog dogs and bitches also : a male usually carnivorous mammal
2a : a worthless or contemptible person
b : fellow, chap a lazy dog you lucky dog
3a : any of various usually simple mechanical devices for holding, gripping, or fastening that consist of a spike, bar, or hook
4 : uncharacteristic or affected stylishness or dignity put on the dog
5 capitalized, astronomy : either of the constellations Canis Major or Canis Minor
6 dogs plural, anatomy : feet rest his tired dogs
7 dogs plural : ruin going to the dogs
8 : one inferior of its kind the movie was a dog : such as
a : an investment not worth its price
b : an undesirable piece of merchandise
9 : an unattractive person especially : an unattractive girl or woman
10 : hot dog sense 1 bought two dogs and a beer

Definition of dog (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : canine dog breeders a dog collar
2 : having an inferior or inauthentic quality : spurious dog rhyme especially, languages : unlike that used by native speakers or writers dog Latin dog French


dogged\ ˈdȯgd How to pronounce dog (audio) , ˈdägd \; dogging

Definition of dog (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to hunt, track, or follow like a hound dogged her every move
b : to worry as if by pursuit with dogs : plague dogged by his past failures
c : to bother or pester persistently dogged him about his grades
2 : to fasten with a simple mechanical device consisting of a spike, bar, or hook : to fasten with a dog (see dog entry 1 sense 3a) dogged down the hatch
dog it
: to fail to do one's best : goldbrick



Definition of dog (Entry 4 of 4)

: extremely, utterly dog cheap sometimes used in combinationIn plain West Virginia-speak, the situation is dog-ugly.— Mitch Vingle — see also dog-tired

Illustration of dog

Illustration of dog


dog 1a: 1 pastern, 2 chest, 3 flews, 4 muzzle, 5 stop, 6 occiput, 7 leather, 8 crest, 9 withers, 10 loin, 11 point of rump, 12 hock or tarsus, 13 knee or stifle, 14 brisket, 15 elbow, 16 feathering

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from dog


doglike \ ˈdȯg-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dog (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dog

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of dog in a Sentence

Noun That dog barks all day long. children playing with the family dog wild dogs such as the Australian dingo They say she's a real dog. Her latest book turned out to be a real dog. That was a dog of a movie. Verb He dogged her every move. Creditors dogged him until he finally paid his bills.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most of it hasn’t been very dog-like, in other words. Joseph Goodman |, al, "This one is for all the dogs of 2020, but especially Cahaba," 30 Dec. 2020 Another distinguishing characteristic of the park is the Mushers Trail, a dog sled run of just over a mile. cleveland, "Embrace the snow: Winter fun awaits just east of the city," 29 Dec. 2020 There is even a dog-friendly beach at Canova Beach Park. Erica Lamberg, USA TODAY, "Missing winter cruises? Here are 4 warm-weather trip ideas to tide you over until ships sail again," 23 Dec. 2020 For $50, fans can have their image, or that of their cat or dog, in a seat close to the court. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Geno Auriemma, coaching in front of cardboard cutouts, can’t yet wrap his mind around the absurdity of 2020 college basketball settings," 16 Dec. 2020 Our dog-confronting protagonist, Karrer (Miklós B. Székely), is hopelessly in love with a cabaret singer (Vali Kerekes). Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Best 2020 double feature: Two favorite discoveries in film’s toughest year," 11 Dec. 2020 Ghost Robotics’ dog-sized machines have onboard cameras and sensors to monitor for intruders along the base’s perimeter. Washington Post, "The U.S. Air Force is entering a robotic future," 7 Dec. 2020 The home’s utility room has a dog-washing area built in. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Check out this contemporary four-bedroom Fort Worth home featuring plenty of green space," 5 Dec. 2020 The fallout from last season’s dog-peeing celebration fiasco was vast, having altered much of the coaching landscape nationwide. C.j. Doon,, "College football storylines, Week 13: Alabama vs. Auburn headlines a strange Rivalry Week," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective State records show dog handler applications were submitted under ISS for dozens of guards. Joe Mahr,, "CTA pulls security dogs from system, amid questions about whether guards were properly trained," 1 Aug. 2019 Dog beds: Hemp Vintage Stripe Envelope in Black; Southern Living, "Source Guide - September 2013," 1 Sep. 2013 For entertainment, there will be dog races, a police K-9 demonstration, dogs splashing into water and Repticon, a showing of exotic pets, consisting of reptiles, insects and amphibians. Louis Casiano Jr., Orange County Register, "Meet and greet canines and critters, from furry to feathered, at Pet Expo in Costa Mesa," 28 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Deadening fatigue can dog them for weeks or months. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Explanations for ‘long Covid’ remain elusive. For now, believing patients and treating symptoms is the best doctors can do," 29 Dec. 2020 The cover-up accusation, which Emanuel has denied, continues to dog him to this day. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Lightfoot’s ‘sorry’ for raid on innocent woman’s home | Buttigieg calls O’Hare ‘romantic’ | Pritzker ‘disappointed’ vaccine shipments cut in half," 16 Dec. 2020 Fraught relationships between government and society and the inability of government to project power are at the root of the violence and insurrection that now dog Abuja and the capitals of other postcolonial states. John Campbell, Quartz Africa, "A former ambassador says the US needs to reimagine its engagement with a modern Nigeria," 3 Dec. 2020 Tran believes the same price competition will dog DoorDash until there’s more consolidation in the industry. Ellen Huet,, "DoorDash Got a Big Pandemic Lift. Can It Deliver Again?," 14 Nov. 2020 Conflicts far more serious — and bloody — than the grocery fracas continued to dog the city. Washington Post, "David Dinkins, New York City’s first Black mayor, dies at 93," 23 Nov. 2020 Uncertainty and division continue to dog the aftermath of the presidential election. Jessica Wapner, Scientific American, "Vision and Breathing May Be the Secrets to Surviving 2020," 16 Nov. 2020 As local government minister, she was often sent to calm disputes over issues ranging from doctor shortages to dog control. New York Times, "With Progressive Politics on March in New Zealand, Maori Minister Blazes New Trails," 15 Nov. 2020 Beauty subscription services took off in the 2010s as startups and major retailers sought to tap into the subscription box craze, in which consumers sign up for regular deliveries of grab-bags of anything from snacks to dog toys to shaving kits. Kim Bhasin,, "Makeup Box Startup Ipsy Acquires Competitor BoxyCharm," 30 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 dog


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dog

Noun, Adjective, Verb, and Adverb

Middle English, from Old English docga

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Time Traveler for dog

Time Traveler

The first known use of dog was before the 12th century

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Statistics for dog

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for dog


\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Kids Definition of dog

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a domestic animal that eats meat and is closely related to the wolves
2 : any of the group of mammals (as wolves, foxes, and jackals) to which the domestic dog belongs
3 : person sense 1 You lucky dog!

Other Words from dog

doglike \ ˈdȯ-​ˌglīk \ adjective


dogged; dogging

Kids Definition of dog (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to hunt, track, or follow like a hound I dogged them all the way.
2 : pester
3 : to cause problems for Injuries dogged the team.


noun, often attributive
\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Medical Definition of dog

: a highly variable carnivorous domesticated mammal of the genus Canis (C. familiaris) closely related to the common wolf (Canis lupus) broadly : any member of the family Canidae

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Comments on dog

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