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

Definition of hangdog

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : sad, dejected
2 : sheepish



Definition of hangdog (Entry 2 of 2)

: a despicable or miserable person

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: Adjective His Mickey is pleasantly mumbly, with a hangdog mien that’s often crosscut with a don’t-underestimate-me swagger. Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune, 16 May 2022 Vic accepts his highly public and private humiliation with hangdog equanimity. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 18 Mar. 2022 Segel earns some empathy as a hangdog Everyman, though his backstory remains such a deliberate blank that any insight is mostly gleaned from his blundering missteps and low-simmering misery. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 18 Mar. 2022 Last year, for example, a player came into Brown’s office with a hangdog look on his face explaining his mom was pulling him out of the program. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Feb. 2022 Another slip here is the casting of Effros in the lead role of Martin, a hangdog techie who travels from New York to Cape Cod to settle the estate of his late, estranged dad, Kenneth. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2022 Strong, who is now forty-two, has the hangdog face of someone who wasn’t destined for stardom. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2021 Dupontel, with his frazzled hair and hangdog middle-management visage, is terrific as the melancholy singleton whose commonality with Suze’s son is a stretch but serves to further connect the two potential lovebirds. Mark Keizer, Variety, 24 Dec. 2021 With his hangdog mien and pained smile, Strong excels most in the quiet moments of Kendall's inner turmoil. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 4 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a quintessential character actor, a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble gravitas. Jake Coyle, BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2022 In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful, weary appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble sensitivity. Jake Coyle, Chicago Tribune, 13 June 2022 In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a quintessential character actor, a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble gravitas. CBS News, 13 June 2022 The same is true this season for NoHo Hank, Mr. Cousineau and Fuches, offering showcases for Carrigan’s uniquely weird line-readings, Winkler’s hangdog perfection and Root occupying the middle ground between the two. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Apr. 2022 Futura repeated her cue, his expression hangdog but game. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 Mattfeld’s head dipped into a slight hangdog bow, and her eyes went dead. New York Times, 1 July 2021 Sam Lloyd, best known for his portrayal of hangdog lawyer Ted Buckland on Scrubs, has died. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 1 May 2020 Barry’s hangdog, sad-eyed charm recalls one of Sandler’s first stabs at more dramatic, or at least more emotional, material: 1999’s Big Daddy. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 29 Dec. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of hangdog


1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1687, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of hangdog was in 1677

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Dictionary Entries Near hangdog

hang by a thread



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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hangdog.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangdog. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of hangdog for Spanish Speakers


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