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

For some reason, seeing the dog in pain was the moment that something clicked for Michael. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "The Radical Transformations of a Battered Women’s Shelter," 13 Aug. 2019 Two comfort dogs from North Texas journeyed west this week to console survivors and first responders from the mass shooting in El Paso. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Dallas News, "Comfort dogs from North Texas soothe shooting survivors, caregivers in El Paso," 10 Aug. 2019 Firefighters may be known for saving cats from trees, but a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crew was called in to save a dog from a kennel in Weston. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Firefighters rescue pit bull with its mouth stuck to cage," 10 Aug. 2019 One dog from the Puppy Pound and one player from practice earn the award. Dan Labbe,, "The Dog and Dawg of the Day from Day 11 of Browns training camp," 6 Aug. 2019 Firefighters rescued Tide, a beloved dog, from a house fire in Bessemer Friday afternoon. al, "Bessemer Fire Department rescues family dog from house fire," 3 Aug. 2019 Local artwork hangs on the walls, and there’s a gift shop as well as a dog-friendly patio. Damien Dennis,, "Camping in Northern Michigan means having it all, away from it all," 31 July 2019 No more dog-earing bridal magazines or overloading a scrapbook with cutouts. Riley & Grey, Harper's BAZAAR, "When It Comes to Wedding Planning, Is Instagram the New Pinterest?," 30 July 2019 Wade snatched the dog from the street in front of the home, Huffman said. Christina Maxouris And Marlena Baldacci, CNN, "An Amazon delivery driver stole a Texas couple's dog and tried to sell it online, police say," 30 July 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

If successful, the shift in strategy could put to rest worries about profitability that have dogged both Betterment and the robo-advisory industry more broadly. The Economist, "Betterment wants your bank account as well as your investments," 27 July 2019 Under Mike McCarthy, Rodgers was rarely asked to play on schedule, which contributed to the inconsistency that dogged Green Bay’s offense the last two years, but LaFleur demands precision from his future Hall of Fame QB. Andy Benoit,, "Aaron Rodgers, Packers’ Offense Primed to Thrive Under New Head Coach Matt LaFleur," 23 July 2019 The Open, the oldest of golf's four majors, had not been held in Northern Ireland for 68 years because of the Troubles that dogged the nation, but Lowry's charge to the Claret Jug united fans from both sides of the border. Alex Thomas And Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Shane Lowry achieves Open dream, sets sights on Ryder Cup," 22 July 2019 One question hung in the air as the teams took the pitch: Would the series of controversies that dogged the Americans — some their own making — prove a distraction?, "U.S. still reigns over women’s soccer, but challengers to the throne are gaining strength," 28 June 2019 The mix-up with the name -- at that time a customer didn’t have to show I.D. to buy a plane ticket -- proved to be the first of many problems that would dog the case over the years., "D.B. Cooper search leads to Bachelor Island; ex-FBI agent says suspect will get away with it ‘unless he confesses’," 27 June 2019 Nevertheless, Vanderbilt's life, in so many ways, revolved around her family; from the inheritance and custody battles that dogged her childhood, to her tabloid-crowning marriages, to the tragedies and triumphs that followed her into motherhood. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Inside Gloria Vanderbilt's Complicated Relationships with Her Sons," 17 June 2019 The idea was to avoid charges of favoritism that dogged the DNC throughout the 2016 presidential primary campaign. Christina Prignano,, "The Democratic debate stage lineup is out. Here’s how it could all play out," 14 June 2019 In her Instagram post Thursday, Biel sought to distance herself from the anti-vaxxer label that has dogged other celebrities who have fought vaccination legislation. Shelby Grad,, "Jessica Biel, facing criticism, explains why she opposes California vaccine bill," 13 June 2019

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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