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)

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 Emily Zajaros, a Lakewood photographer, sends out a photo of her dog each year. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Why we send holiday cards -- and what are the trends in 2019," 2 Dec. 2019 Emergency responders provided treatment, but the woman and her dog both died at the scene., "Hit-and-run driver kills pedestrian in Fremont," 30 Nov. 2019 Perhaps make a donation to a charity the person is passionate about, give them a gift card for a manicure, or buy a gift for their dog. Jackie Pilossoph,, "Column: 10 tips for enjoying the holiday party season," 30 Nov. 2019 Yes, your dog does need their own ugly Christmas sweater, and now is a great time to buy one. 5. Anna Lane, USA TODAY, "The best PetSmart, Petco, and Chewy Black Friday deals," 30 Nov. 2019 These include large terraces with terrace potties for your dog and a 67-foot lap pool surrounded by lush landscaping. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life — Building spotlight: The Hawthorne," 30 Nov. 2019 Even without a certain hammer, Thor beat out nearly 2,000 of his fellow dogs that comprised 194 breeds and varieties, as recognized by the American Kennel Club. Nick Romano,, "For Asgard! Bulldog named Thor wins Best in Show at 2019 National Dog Show," 29 Nov. 2019 My dog didn't like her and chewed that book up within an hour of my possession of it. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Jason Lewis Is So Much More Than ‘That Guy’ From Sex and the City," 29 Nov. 2019 However, my tests were cut way short when our three dogs were attracted to its smell and started rolling in it. Neil Sperry,, "Blood meal will keep rabbits away from pansies, but it will attract dogs," 28 Nov. 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 Knights during early-season losses at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati popped up again in the second half, with the team committing a season-high 15 penalties. Matt Murschel,, "UCF looks to regroup after another tough road loss," 9 Nov. 2019 Maple Heights was dogged by poor play on special teams. cleveland, "Avon Lake dominates from start to finish in 38-6 romp over Maple Heights in Div. II, Region 6 quarterfinal," 9 Nov. 2019 Zuberi and his company were named in a subpoena that investigators served on the committee, which raised more than $100 million and has been dogged by questions over whether foreign donors used contributions to buy influence with the president. Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, "Major donor who played both sides of the aisle charged with campaign violations and fraud," 22 Oct. 2019 She’s taken a methodical approach to the problems that dogged San Francisco’s transit system for years, from mechanical glitches to operator shortages to bottlenecks at certain intersections. Rachel Swan,, "Is it a bus or is it a trolley? New SF Muni fleet can go off-wire," 6 Oct. 2019 Yet the project has also been dogged by controversy, with criticism that new infrastructural costs were burdening poor nations with debt. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The success of China’s Belt and Road depends on global cooperation not competition," 16 Sep. 2019 Rodriguez promises to be the most polarizing Hall debate yet, and one who will run into the same problems that have dogged Bonds, Clemens and the rest of the Steroid Era superstars. Jon Tayler,, "Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions Are Heading for a Bleak Period," 19 July 2019 The dual-loyalty accusations have dogged Jews across time and across the globe. Pamela S. Nadell, Quartz, "A history of American antisemitism," 12 Nov. 2019 The dual-loyalty accusations have dogged Jews across time and across the globe. Pamela S. Nadell, The Conversation, "Anti-Semitism in the US today is a variation on an old theme," 7 Nov. 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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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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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