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

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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

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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

Beginning September 1st, 2019 Animal Control Officers will begin issuing infraction tickets for unlicensed dogs., "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 6 Sep. 2019 Ella actually became a PAT dog last year, Middleton revealed on Instagram in December, per People. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton's Brother Walked the Red Carpet with His Dog, and We Have No Choice but to Stan," 5 Sep. 2019 Visitors counted 100 houses and three community buildings in the relatively dense town, where turkeys and skinny dogs ran underfoot and people planted a wide variety of crops, including maize, chiles, and various fruit trees, in nearby plots. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "In search of the ‘white Jaguar’: Archaeologists travel deep into the jungle to find a lost Maya city," 5 Sep. 2019 Tickets $5-$10 to movies, with $5 donation added for dogs. Anne Nickoloff,, "11 things to do in Cleveland on Sunday, Sept. 1," 1 Sep. 2019 For dogs, and stories about them that are really about the obscene ways in which wealth warps our worldview. Jacob Feldman,, "With Urban Meyer, FOX Hopes to ‘Make a Dent’ against ESPN’s College GameDay," 29 Aug. 2019 On July 9, the Arizona Humane Society Second Chance Hospital treated a dog who was left to die after being stabbed by its owner at a Phoenix home. Alexa Fuenmayor, azcentral, "New animal cruelty legislation goes into effect Tuesday," 27 Aug. 2019 Three of the victims in a Coconut Creek domestic dispute Saturday were stabbed and not shot, with only a police officer responding to the call — and a dog killed in the house — receiving gunshot wounds, police said Sunday afternoon. Andrew Boryga,, "Mom and daughter fatally stabbed at Coconut Creek home," 26 Aug. 2019 Perry has prior convictions in Hamilton County for repeatedly slamming a dog against a concrete curb in 2011 and for misusing his employer's credit card in 2017. Cameron Knight,, "Documents: Man indicted on three rapes dating back 11 years," 22 Aug. 2019

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

Problems that dogged the IPO last time around, including disagreement over the company's valuation, haven't exactly been resolved. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Some say it's time to sell stocks. These big names disagree," 3 Sep. 2019 With our Skim app, users can find the nearest hovercraft and be quickly floating on a cushion of air without the time-consuming hassle that has dogged traditional hovercraft procurement. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Scooters, bikes and mopeds aren’t enough. We want dockless everything!," 18 Aug. 2019 Questions of loyalty have a long history as an anti-Semitic trope, having for hundreds of years dogged Jewish diaspora communities and foregrounded political persecution in Europe. Joseph Hincks, Time, "How Trump Fits Into the Long, Fraught History of the Relationship Between Israel and American Jews," 20 Aug. 2019 Loose pucks The Sports Museum, dogged in its efforts to tamp down bullying in schools and playing fields, on Monday will stage its annual golf tournament at Andover CC. Kevin Paul Dupont,, "Checking in on the Bruins’ Kevan Miller," 17 Aug. 2019 This fascinating piece tackles some of the most pressing issues in drug industry and, specifically, in an area that's dogged some pharma companies for a while now: Namely, failure. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Failure Is Built Into Pharma. But It’s Complicated: Brainstorm Health," 2 Aug. 2019 Until thousands of years later when some dogged archeologists decide that’s not it. National Geographic, "Episode 6: Harem Conspiracy Papyrus," 16 July 2019 Many of those issues still dog the organization, the latest report concludes. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Grand Jury: Santa Clara County Fair still badly mismanaged," 6 July 2019 But this report speaks to an ongoing question dogging the Trump White House: How much will the president and those around him gain from his position? Emily Stewart, Vox, "Ivanka Trump reportedly advocated for a tax break she and Jared Kushner could profit from," 12 Dec. 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

Noun, Adjective, Verb, and Adverb

Middle English, from Old English docga

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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

Comments on dog

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recurring in steady succession

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