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 dogged (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dog


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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported a video from a Louisiana family whose dogs found a small alligator under their grill. Leada Gore |,, "Photos, video show snakes, alligator left in Barry’s wake," 15 July 2019 Inside the car, troopers found the remains of Levin's dog. Washington Post, "Neil Armstrong honored by Ohio hometown ahead of moon landing anniversary," 15 July 2019 Anyone whose had one hand awkwardly on the floor during downward dog will appreciate this mat's extra long design. Kelsey Mulvey, Good Housekeeping, "Our Favorite Self-Rolling Yoga Mat Is 22% Off for Prime Day," 15 July 2019 Recently, Moose, a pit bull mix adopted from the San Diego Department of Animal Services Bonita Shelter (and one of the Petco Foundation’s sponsored service dogs), graduated with Marine veteran Jaimie McAfee at the program’s headquarters. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Shelter to Soldier gets $30K Petco grant," 15 July 2019 Outward Hound slow feeders Slow feeders make a game out of mealtime, which both stimulates dog's brains and helps avoid tummy troubles from wolfing down meals. Amy Roberts, USA TODAY, "The very best Prime Day deals for pet owners," 15 July 2019 Inside the car, troopers found the remains of Levin's dog. CBS News, "Remains found in Oregon believed to be "Seinfeld" actor Charles Levin," 14 July 2019 Child soldiers sauntered drunkenly down streets lined with corpses that had been half chewed by Bunia’s dogs. The Economist, "Killings in Congo’s north-east spark fears of a return to war," 13 July 2019 Days later, an additional 16 dogs were found dead on the property., "Jury trial for defendant in ‘Black Rock Dogs’ case scheduled for October," 12 July 2019

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

The partnerships are especially crucial for the German auto industry, which is a pillar of the domestic economy and which has been dogged by a steady stream of profit warnings and management shake-ups in recent months. Mike Colias And Sara Germano, WSJ, "VW Ups Its Investment in Ford’s Self-Driving Car Unit," 12 July 2019 Those are just the latest woes for Vysk, which has been dogged by lawsuits, adverse judgments, tax liens and wage claims in recent years. Patrick Danner,, "Loss of patents marks latest woes for San Antonio tech startup," 21 June 2019 Miss Saigon,’’ which has been dogged by questions about cultural authenticity from its start nearly three decades ago. Don Aucoin,, "At the Opera House, ‘Miss Saigon’ shows its age," 17 June 2019 The allegations are the latest controversy for Gooding, who has long been dogged by accusations of hard partying and questionable behavior. Nardine Saad,, "Cuba Gooding Jr. didn’t grope anyone — he’s just ‘frisky,’ his lawyer says," 13 June 2019 The simulators are used to train pilots, who are in high demand because of a shortage that’s dogged the airline industry for decades. Orla Mccaffrey, Dallas News, "Merger of defense giants L3 and Harris could mean more jobs for North Texas," 2 July 2019 Concerns about global warming played a big part in the defeat of Tony Abbott, a former prime minister and dogged opponent of curbs on emissions, who lost his seat in a posh part of Sydney. The Economist, "Adani’s giant Australian coal mine gets the go-ahead," 29 June 2019 Sánchez Cárdenas said the bottom line was that there was nothing nefarious about the rash of the U.S. tourist deaths dogging the country since first making headlines in the spring. Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, "Dominican health minister says drugs, alcohol, medical problems may have killed US couple; lawyer calls it 'ludicrous'," 25 June 2019 But worries about Tesla running out of cash had dogged the company heading into results. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Elon Musk on Tesla call: 'Boring questions are not cool'," 3 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on dog

What made you want to look up dog? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!