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)

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 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 All the pieces are right there in front of you (unless the dog ate one), and the solution is within reach. Tovin Lapan,, "Jigsaw puzzles: Six steps to putting the pieces together," 18 May 2020 Simón, who has been careful not to let the flames of passion leap too high, ends the book alone: no child, no partner, not even the dog. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "The Unsuitable Passions of J.M. Coetzee," 18 May 2020 There are eight categories in which the dogs will be entered, including the Toy, Working, Non-Sporting, Herding, Hound, Sporting and Terrier groups. Katey Clifford, oregonlive, "The Beverly Hills Dog Show | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 17 May 2020 The headless dog can detect how many people are around. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "This Robot Dog Is Encouraging People to Social Distance in Singapore," 14 May 2020 The dog is being quarantined at an animal facility, the Hong Kong government said. Dominic Lau,, "Dog Found to Have ‘Low Level’ of Coronavirus in Hong Kong," 13 May 2020 The dog was found Monday at the corner of Lincoln and Sixth streets in Middletown, the release states. Madeline Mitchell,, "Butler County Sheriff: Man charged after abused, abandoned dog found in Middletown," 12 May 2020 Shorties are easier to slip on and off and super handy to keep next to the mudroom door for quick jaunts to the mailbox or when walking the dog on wet mornings. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Features You Need in Your Next Pair of Waterproof Boots," 12 May 2020 Surrendering the dog was emotional for Gamez, who said her neighbors had complained about his barking and crying. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. animal shelters brace for influx of pets as people face financial hardships from coronavirus," 11 May 2020 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 Deep in the Bitterroot National Forest, this bear-dogging backwoodsman has vivid memories of the old days. Drew Palmer, Outdoor Life, "50 Hunter Stereotypes from Every State," 15 May 2020 Durham himself is widely regarded as a fair and dogged prosecutor, famously leading the prosecution of mobsters, including a series of high-profile convictions of the notorious New England Mafia. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "‘Full throttle’: John Durham’s Russia team is stacked with veteran investigators," 12 May 2020 The firm operated without malpractice insurance for a period and was dogged by feuds — with current and former partners suing each other — and financial problems. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "Meet the Shadowy Accountants Who Do Trump’s Taxes and Help Him Seem Richer Than He Is," 8 May 2020 Bordiniuc, the doctor, frets about the same issues dogging virus-fighting efforts across Europe -- insufficient testing and a lack of ventilators. Irina Vilcu,, "In This European Country, Hospitals Are as Scary as the Coronavirus," 8 May 2020 The plain fact is that this accusation is going to dog Biden for the rest of the campaign. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution," 2 May 2020 Twitter, dogged by activist investors, and Waymo, a moonshot for Alphabet. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Airbnb gets a $1 billion lifeline," 7 Apr. 2020 The monetization question has been one dogging Bortnik for months, and many of the new features came from suggestions by Polo fans. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Marco Polo video chat app to introduce premium features," 2 May 2020 Penn, a longtime and dogged humanitarian, launched a disaster relief organization called J/P HRO in the wake of the Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sean Penn Joins L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to Talk COVID-19 Testing: "This is a Very Unique Situation"," 17 Apr. 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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

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