hang·​dog | \ ˈhaŋ-ˌdȯg How to pronounce hangdog (audio) \

Definition of hangdog

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of hangdog (Entry 2 of 2)

: a despicable or miserable person

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Examples of hangdog in a Sentence

Adjective He came home with a hangdog expression on his face. “Why do you look so hangdog today?” she asked
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hauser taps into Jewell’s tendency toward hangdog dejection beautifully, giving a performance miles away from the cartoonish (but cute) work he’s done onscreen until now. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Richard Jewell Offers a Murky Picture of Heroism," 10 Dec. 2019 His combustibility, his pugnaciousness, his scorching sarcasm, his intelligence, and his toughness all played off against his tortured hangdog eyes, his mild speech impediment in the early films, his vincibility. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Why Al Pacino Matters," 29 Nov. 2019 Owen Teague, so perfectly brooding in Bloodline, is adorably hangdog as Julian, a 19-year-old who meets Eve in a creative writing class and immediately develops a crush. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Kathryn Hahn is porn again in HBO's Mrs. Fletcher," 22 Oct. 2019 Crudup shifts from giving a rote performance to channeling the kind of hangdog empathy that’s powered some of his recent great performances (such as in 20th Century Women and Jackie). David Sims, The Atlantic, "Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette Is a Gripping Mess," 16 Aug. 2019 Kendall spends the first five episodes being more low-energy than a post-divorce Ross Geller, as hangdog as Droopy. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Succession Is Better Than Ever," 11 Aug. 2019 Jolles, who played the hangdog office worker George on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, makes Shep an excitable doofus. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Blowing Up Right Now': Film Review," 16 June 2019 Nobody knew, least of all Florentino Perez, whose baggy face was more hangdog than ever on Thursday. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Real Madrid Ushered Into Sudden Chaos After Zidane's Resignation," 31 May 2018 But who is the balding man with the hangdog expression, who now appears to be the most influential North Korean outside the Kim clan? Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "Who Is Kim Yong Chol? Meet Kim Jong Un's Ever-Present Right-Hand Man," 28 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hangdog.' 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 hangdog


1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1687, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hangdog

Time Traveler

The first known use of hangdog was in 1677

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Statistics for hangdog

Cite this Entry

“Hangdog.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangdog. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for hangdog


How to pronounce hangdog (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hangdog

: sad or depressed

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More from Merriam-Webster on hangdog

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hangdog

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hangdog

Nglish: Translation of hangdog for Spanish Speakers

Comments on hangdog

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


dull or mediocre

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