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
b : andiron
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; dogs

Definition of dog (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to hunt, track, or follow (someone) like a hound dogged her every move
b : to be a persistent source of difficulty or distress to (someone) : plague Rumors dogged him throughout his public life.— Howard Chua-Eoan often used in the passive with by Their star pitcher has been dogged by injuries.The project has been dogged by controversy.
c : to bother or pester (someone) persistently : hound Reporters dogged her for information.
2 : to fasten (something) 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 combination In 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

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 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Controversial Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King's political PAC used donor cash to purchase a $40,000 dog that King used as a family pet, according to a Monday report. Anders Hagstrom, Fox News, 2 Aug. 2022 One of the suspects reportedly grabbed a dog and shot was fired at the victim, who was not hit. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2022 In addition, neighbors and nearby workers reportedly heard a dog in distress. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2022 Obtaining a service dog in itself can be a challenging task, which can cost between $15,000 and $50,000. ABC News, 1 Aug. 2022 This is real life, no doubt: desk chairs, escalators, conference rooms, coffee cups, microwaves, ellipticals, steering wheels, the line at Subway, a dog tangled in a laptop-charger cord. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 1 Aug. 2022 With your hands on the floor, move between a high plank position into a downward dog. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 29 July 2022 In addition, neighbors and nearby workers reportedly hearing a dog in distress. CBS News, 29 July 2022 In Mount Juliet, Tennessee, the operators of a nonprofit dog sanctuary have seen pet food and veterinary care costs soar while donations have faded. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And, yes, that includes that Swift’s newest re-release can be announced courtesy of a cartoon super-dog sobbing into a jug of ice cream. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 29 July 2022 Many suggest its the potential exposure to exercise that explains the benefit: The AHA points to studies that found pet owners who walk their dogs got up to 30 minutes more exercise a day than non-dog-walkers. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 26 Aug. 2021 State records show dog handler applications were submitted under ISS for dozens of guards. Joe Mahr,, 1 Aug. 2019 Dog beds: Hemp Vintage Stripe Envelope in Black; Southern Living, 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, 28 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These services grew over time, from free meal and medicine delivery to dog walking. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 The disaster reflected the haphazard safety standards that continue to dog Bangladesh, particularly its lucrative garment export industry. New York Times, 7 June 2022 Meanwhile, supply-chain snarls and higher commodity prices—brought on by external events like Russia’s war on Ukraine and virus-related lockdowns in China—continue to dog businesses. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, 3 June 2022 Knowledge is the fruiting body of light whose shadows dog us. Donna Kane, Scientific American, 21 June 2022 While Donelson and Jackson remarried in 1794, after her divorce became final, the bigamy controversy would dog Jackson during his political campaigns. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 June 2022 Controversies around misinformation and inflammatory content on Meta’s social platforms have also continued to dog the company, creating internal problems for Sandberg in particular. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 2 June 2022 There’s an inherent goofiness to dog clothing that could seem disrespectful at solemn events, for instance, or professional workplaces. Blair Braverman, Outside Online, 11 Apr. 2021 This scandal could dog the wine in the general election. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

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


Middle English, from Old English docga


from attributive use of dog entry 1


derivative of dog entry 1


derivative of dog entry 1

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Time Traveler for dog

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

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dog's age

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Statistics for dog

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on dog

Nglish: Translation of dog for Spanish Speakers

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


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