noun, often attributive
\ˈdȯg, ˈdäg \

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, 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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dog

Synonyms: Noun

beast, boor, cad, churl, clown, creep, cur, heel, jerk, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, reptile, scum, skunk, slob, snake, stinker, swine, varmint, vermin

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

Share your photos watching the show, especially with your dog. Fox News, "President Trump puts NATO on notice," 12 July 2018 Find a spot with your dog on the patio in the summer months or curl up next to the fireplace for some winter hygge. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 The 85ºC Bakery Cafe also serves a spicy sausage-cheese roll with hot sauce, along with its basic cheddar-mozzarella cheese dog. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Where to find peach dishes away from the Weatherford festival crowd," 10 July 2018 His partner, Kalani Miller, is nearby with their dog, while his agent coordinates one last interview. Hemal Jhaveri, For The Win, "How Kelly Slater took surfing out of the ocean and onto dry land," 3 July 2018 Norman Scott, now 78, lives with his dogs and his boyfriend in Devon, England. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "A Very English Scandal," 29 June 2018 Time with family or friends; time with your significant other or your significant others; time alone or with your dog, free from that which hangs over our heads at all times in the air like magic: the web. Kelly Conaboy, The Cut, "There Should Be No Internet for One Weekend Per Month," 29 June 2018 At a breakfast forum on Thursday at the New Albany Country Club, with its high ceilings and portraiture of dogs and horses, the candidates engaged in civil debate and essentially staked out orthodox positions of their parties. Michael Tackett, New York Times, "Door-Knocking Democrat Tries to Break G.O.P. Grip in Ohio Special Election," 13 July 2018 Make sure to follow the rules, though, including no glass containers, no bicycles (there’s a $3 bike valet available), no small children, no dogs and no fighting. Lisa Deaderick,, "Taking a swing at annual Over the Line tournament," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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

Weinstein’s legislation would allow the Howard County animal administrator to send out social media and internet alerts to dog owners. Kate Magill, Howard County Times, "Howard proposal adds teeth to laws on leaving dogs outdoors in frigid weather," 7 June 2018 Big Break Allegations of corruption have dogged Netanyahu for the past two decades, but he has never been charged with a crime., "Netanyahu Legal Woes Worsen as Ex-Top Aide Agrees to Testify," 21 Feb. 2018 President Trump said on Twitter, before writing a barrage of tweets Thursday criticizing the U.S. investigation that has dogged his presidency and led to a downward spiral in relations with Russia. Henry Meyer,, "Trump Gives Russia a Pass on Meddling as Putin Summit Scheduled," 28 June 2018 A few of these sentences convey in miniature the dilemmas of tone that dogged the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Jedediah Purdy, The New Republic, "The Remaking of Class," 27 June 2018 One of Silicon Valley’s buzziest venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz, has hired its first female senior investing partner, putting to rest a series of questions that have dogged the all-male general partnership for years. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Andreessen Horowitz has finally hired a woman as a general partner, as it also officially debuts a crypto fund," 25 June 2018 The play, produced by Center Stage and Congo Square Theatre Company in association with the Apollo Theater and Mosaic Theater Company, seeks to shed light on the mental illness that dogged Hathaway. Tim Smith,, "Play about Donny Hathaway will return to Center Stage," 19 June 2018 It is simply accepted without eliciting the negative scrutiny that would dog or even derail lesser mortals. Marcos Bretón, sacbee, "The privileged candidate: Why do we let Gavin Newsom get away with this? | The Sacramento Bee," 6 May 2018 But he has been dogged for years by allegations of impropriety, including in a federal corruption trial. Lev Facher, STAT, "Read the fine print: N.J. senator sets up phony health news website to attack challenger Bob Hugin," 13 July 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


Middle English, from Old English docga


see dog entry 1


see dog entry 1


see dog entry 1

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Statistics for dog

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for dog

The first known use of dog was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dog


\ˈdȯg \

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 \

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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to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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