lap·​dog ˈlap-ˌdȯg How to pronounce lapdog (audio)
variants or less commonly lap dog
plural lapdogs also lap dogs
: a small dog (such as a Chihuahua or Pomeranian) that may be held in the lap
: a servile dependent or follower
"We had a choice of being attack dogs or lapdogs," said a G.O.P. lawmaker.Jacob V. Lamar
lap dog politicians

Examples of lapdog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Blenheim Cavalier is a true lapdog: easygoing, obedient, insinuating. David Frum, The Atlantic, 21 Mar. 2024 In the weeks and months since, we’ve been inundated with reports of Scheana (and Sandy’s lapdog, Schwartz) hanging out with Sandoval during filming and partying in his hotel suite during BravoCon. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 30 Jan. 2024 Indeed, scientists used radiocarbon dating on a 2,000-year-old skull to determine that Romans may have been among the first to deliberately breed lapdogs, according to a study published in the Journal of Archeological Science in 2023. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 But by Roman period, evidence shows that our canine companions started to shrink, with lapdogs becoming more popular. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 After close examination, conservators found that a lapdog was originally included in Picasso's painting Le Moulin de la Galette, but was later painted out. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 17 May 2023 John McCain’s lapdog. Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2020 Advertisement - Continue Reading Below 16 Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka Cousin of the equally fluffy Bichon Frise, Bolonkas are a breed of curious and intelligent lapdogs that are popular in Russia. Alesandra Dubin, Good Housekeeping, 11 Apr. 2023 Those quests are usually undertaken in pursuit of true love and require some kind of face-off with death, even when death is accompanied by a cute black lapdog. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lapdog.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lapdog was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near lapdog

Cite this Entry

“Lapdog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


lap·​dog ˈlap-ˌdȯg How to pronounce lapdog (audio)
: a dog small enough to be held in the lap

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