noun, often attributive
\ˈdȯg, ˈdäg \

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, ˈdägd \; dogging

Definition of dog (Entry 3 of 4)

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-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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dog

Synonyms: Noun

canine, doggy (or doggie), hound, pooch, tyke (also tike)

Synonyms: Verb

bird-dog, chase, course, follow, hound, pursue, run, shadow, tag, tail, trace, track, trail

Antonyms: Verb

guide, lead, pilot

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Examples of dog in a Sentence


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.


He dogged her every move. Creditors dogged him until he finally paid his bills.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hot Dog is the adorable dog who serves as the Southside Serpent's pet. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who Is Hot Dog? All About the Star of the "Riverdale" Premiere," 11 Oct. 2018 After all, nothing will impress trick-or-treaters more than seeing a (very friendly) tricera-dog answer the door. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "POLL: Which Dog Halloween Costume Is Cuter?," 24 Sep. 2018 Some dogs could also be taken in by their former handlers. Joshua Goodman And Manuel Rueda, Fox News, "Colombia honors 14 sniffer dogs at emotional retirement," 21 Sep. 2018 All that's left to do is divide up the streaming subscriptions and decide who gets the dog. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "It's over: Intel and Micron file for divorce on 3DXpoint technology," 16 July 2018 His cross-eyes and panting-dog demeanor belie a natural genius, which is the player's talent at jumping on enemies and spinning into them like a dervish to vanquish them. Harold Goldberg,, "Classic games, lovingly reimagined in 'Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy'," 13 July 2018 The pastrami dog is on the lunch menu and only nettling the dining room between 11 AM and 9 PM each day. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "At 3 Squares Diner there’s a dog that won’t bark," 12 July 2018 The daffy has hot-dog roots but enough vestigial cred to induce a new-schooler to tip his trucker hat. Nick Paumgarten, Outside Online, "Nick Paumgarten on the Thrill of His First Daffy," 11 July 2018 The giant stuffed animal dog in Parrish Cobb's bedroom at his home in Waco. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "A parent's pain over his imprisoned football star son," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

Later, a BuzzFeed News investigation discovered that, from 2014 onward, the state obtained drugs from a compounding pharmacy in St. Louis, one that has been dogged by allegations of misconduct. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to confirm Debra Smith as the new head of Seattle City Light, which has been dogged lately by workplace and customer-service problems. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council confirms Debra Smith as new City Light boss in wake of billing problems," 1 Oct. 2018 He's been many through this many times and he's been dogged about moving this along while giving as much deference as reasonable to his colleagues on the other side. Fox News, "Kevin Hassett talks corporate tax cut, rising wages," 24 Sep. 2018 She was always considered an major longshot to unseat incumbent Cuomo, even though his administration has been dogged by corruption scandals. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "With Letitia James' Primary Win, New York Could See Its First Black Female Attorney General," 14 Sep. 2018 Ethereum, though, has been dogged by new complexities that smart contracts have introduced into an already fiendishly complicated system. New York Times, "A Field Guide to the Hurdles Facing Blockchain Adoption," 27 June 2018 Shooter's nominating papers list his address as a condo in Yuma, but he has been dogged by question about his residency for years. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "Don Shooter can stay on ballot despite residency concerns, judge says," 15 June 2018 Moyes recreated Everton, rescuing the club from a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s when it had been dogged by dire football and the near constant threat of relegation., "Why Everton Must Learn From Their History in Next Managerial Appointment or Be Doomed to Repeat it," 18 May 2018 But Baez needed more seasoning in the minors, Soler was dogged by leg injuries and Alcantara struggled to hit the curveball. Mark Gonzales,, "Sorry White Sox fans, but there's no guarantee your rebuild will turn out like the Cubs'," 10 May 2018

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


Middle English, from Old English docga


see dog entry 1


see dog entry 1


see dog entry 1

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Statistics for dog

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dog

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

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More Definitions for dog


\ˈdȯg \

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on dog

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dog

Spanish Central: Translation of dog

Nglish: Translation of dog for Spanish Speakers

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

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