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 dogged (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 doglike (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 The beloved dog died July 11 in Staten Island, New York. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Buddy, the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the US, has died," 31 July 2020 The caller said the dog was not on a leash at the time of the incident. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Raccoon mistaken for bear cub: Moreland Hills Police Blotter," 31 July 2020 To rescue the large dog, crews used an all-terrain vehicle and placed Nikko in a Stokes Basket on a wheel, carefully navigating the pooch down the mountain. Ally Mauch,, "125-Pound Dog Rescued from Virginia Mountain After Collapsing During Hike in 90-Degree Heat," 31 July 2020 Buddy, a 7-year-old German shepherd and the first pet dog in the United States to test positive for COVID-19, has died. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "First pet dog in US known to have contracted COVID-19 dies," 30 July 2020 Buddy, a 7-year-old German shepherd from Staten Island, New York, who was the first dog to test positive for the coronavirus in the US, has died after a three-month illness. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 30," 30 July 2020 Because of this, only some animal rescues are allowed to take the dog. Helena Wegner, The Arizona Republic, "With director gone, some raise new concerns about Maricopa County animal shelter," 12 July 2020 The dog has to be at least a year old and able to walk next to the owner. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Houston area volunteer discusses pandemic’s impact on pet therapy," 11 July 2020 The veterinarian said the 2-year-old dog was healthy. Dallas News, "Tarrant County dog is first in Texas to test positive for virus that causes COVID-19," 10 July 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 Paranoia about chaebols’ influence continues to dog the second phase of Lee’s hearings, which commenced late last year after the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision to suspend the mogul’s sentence and ordered a retrial. Sohee Kim,, "Samsung Billionaire’s Fate at Risk Despite Role in Virus Fight," 14 June 2020 Today the idea that weight is the main problem dogging black women builds on these historically racist ideas and ignores how interrelated social factors impact black women’s health. Sabrina Strings, Scientific American, "The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity," 4 June 2020 What strikes me most about Shannon is her humility and dogged determination to get done what needs to get done for the athletes. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Mother's Day: Here's what loved ones want you to know about some amazing sports moms," 9 May 2020 The system’s weaknesses have permitted officials to wield Hong Kong’s ordinances, backed by common-law rulings, in novel ways that can stymie the government’s dogged critics. Suzanne Sataline, The Atlantic, "The Other China Emergency," 25 Mar. 2020 Hines and Gomez named their orange tabby foster cat Carl, after Carl Schumann, an octogenarian Warren volunteer who is one of the campaign’s most dogged local canvassers. Time, "Elizabeth Warren Is Stranded in Washington. Can Her Iowa Ground Game Lift Her to Victory?," 30 Jan. 2020 Deep in the Bitterroot National Forest, this bear-dogging backwoodsman has vivid memories of the old days. Drew Palmer, Outdoor Life, "50 Hunter Stereotypes from Every State," 15 May 2020 Durham himself is widely regarded as a fair and dogged prosecutor, famously leading the prosecution of mobsters, including a series of high-profile convictions of the notorious New England Mafia. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "‘Full throttle’: John Durham’s Russia team is stacked with veteran investigators," 12 May 2020 The firm operated without malpractice insurance for a period and was dogged by feuds — with current and former partners suing each other — and financial problems. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "Meet the Shadowy Accountants Who Do Trump’s Taxes and Help Him Seem Richer Than He Is," 8 May 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

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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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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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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