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 dog (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 combination In 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 dog (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 Amenities will include a lounge area, game room and business center as well as a dog park and a community park, which will be open to the public. Madison Iszler, San Antonio Express-News, "Apartments will be part of bigger Government Hill development," 23 Apr. 2021 The entrance to the park will lead into a dog park, Park Project Manager Nina Pisano said. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pickleball, dog park and more coming to Waterfront Park," 16 Apr. 2021 While truckers give this Interstate 44 stop a thumbs up for its huge location and easy highway access, others will enjoy its Indian restaurant, dog park and electric vehicle charging stations. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "These 10 great truck stops surprise travelers with everything from dog parks to bidets," 12 Apr. 2021 Crossroads Park already has a lake, dog park, baseball and soccer fields, and an indoor skating rink. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, "Gilbert’s getting a go-kart and mini golf venue, but neighbors aren’t pleased," 10 Apr. 2021 Closer to the Jones Center's main building, the campus would feature a fitness area, a skate park joining the bicycle pump track, a dog park and maybe a seasonal water feature with ice skating in the winter and water play in the summer. Laurinda Joenks, Arkansas Online, "Springdale's melting pot provides inspiration for recreated Jones Center campus," 9 Apr. 2021 There’s also an outside patio with backyard games, mini-golf and a dog park. William Thornton |, al, "Neighbors Brew & Pies, Saw’s BBQ open at Leeds’ The Backyard," 31 Mar. 2021 All three dogs and their owners met at a dog park near New York City's Museum of Natural History. Kelli Bender,, "Texas Rescue Dog and His 2 Puppies Reunite by Chance in N.Y.C. After Getting Adopted Separately," 22 Mar. 2021 Our long-term vision has always been to have a dog park with a coffee shop ... Amy Drew Thompson,, "Cups and Pups Coffee taking over Gratitude Coffee space in College Park," 19 Mar. 2021 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 The bigger and growing issue with Tatis is the rough-and-tumble intersection of his full-throttle game and injuries — all different, 148 games in — that continue to dog him. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: ‘Rough-and-tumble’ Fernando Tatis Jr. needs to safeguard health," 6 Apr. 2021 Perhaps that is why, early on, Barbara became known as a bully, a characteristic that would dog her all her life. Washington Post, "For three generations of Bush women, personal pain and a public spotlight," 19 Mar. 2021 Earlier this morning, Berenberg, the German investment bank, lowered its full-year eurozone GDP by 0.3%, blaming the effects of lockdown and restrictions that continue to dog the bloc's biggest economies. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Bitcoin and tech stocks climb as bond yields tumble," 22 Mar. 2021 Also, an arrest or conviction can dog people for years and thwart their job prospects. Washington Post, "Law professor who patrolled as a D.C. street cop says police have ‘impossible job’," 22 Feb. 2021 Whether the issue will dog him this campaign isn’t yet known. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "In mayoral rematch between Nirenberg and Brockhouse, San Antonio's pandemic recovery and police reform will take center stage," 31 Jan. 2021 Past quality problems also continue to dog the two Korean car manufacturers, denting earnings. Ben Foldy, WSJ, "Hyundai, Kia Pick Up Speed in 2020 With New SUVs," 30 Dec. 2020 The Manhattan district attorney and New York state attorney general will dog him over personal finances. Karl Rove, WSJ, "2020 Hindsight and a Look Ahead," 30 Dec. 2020 Deadening fatigue can dog them for weeks or months. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Explanations for ‘long Covid’ remain elusive. For now, believing patients and treating symptoms is the best doctors can do," 29 Dec. 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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on dog

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