lap·​dog | \ ˈlap-ˌdȯg How to pronounce lapdog (audio) \

Definition of lapdog

1 : a small dog that may be held in the lap
2 : a servile dependent or follower

Examples of lapdog in a Sentence

His coworkers regarded him as the boss's lap dog.
Recent Examples on the Web Mannerism jumps out from the first gallery in a 1532-33 portrait of an imperious young woman in brilliant red with a lapdog. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 24 June 2021 No bigger than a lapdog, these marsupials are famous for their ferocity and powerful jaws, which can reduce large carcasses to smithereens in minutes. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, 5 Oct. 2020 The black lapdog pranced proudly when his turn came. CBS News, 11 Feb. 2020 The black lapdog pranced proudly when his turn came. Jake Seiner, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Feb. 2020 Even faithful lapdog Lindsey Graham thought the Dingell attack was a bridge too far. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 22 Dec. 2019 Archie spends a majority of the season as Hiram's lapdog, helping him out with various tasks, even aggressively scaring off two other mob bosses who attempt to take out Hiram. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 8 Oct. 2018 But in nine days, Macron goes to Washington for the first state visit under Trump’s presidency — and the French leader can’t be seen as Trump’s lapdog. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2018 Daily outdoor fun is a way of life for people with retrievers, terriers, spaniels, herding dogs and even plenty of dogs on the small side, who don’t seem to know they are considered part of the lapdog brigade. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, 11 July 2018

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

1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for lapdog

Last Updated

28 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lapdog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for lapdog



English Language Learners Definition of lapdog

: a dog that is small enough to be held in a person's lap
: a weak person who is controlled by someone else


lap·​dog | \ ˈlap-ˌdȯg How to pronounce lapdog (audio) \

Kids Definition of lapdog

: a dog small enough to be held in a person's lap

More from Merriam-Webster on lapdog

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lapdog

Nglish: Translation of lapdog for Spanish Speakers


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