lap·dog | \ˈlap-ˌdȯg \

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

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, "European allies France, UK gamble, join Trump against Syria," 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, "Hiking or camping with your dogs? How to keep them safe," 11 July 2018 Inside the houses are palmetto bugs the size of lapdogs. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Snakes, Landslides & Adventures in Real Estate," 22 June 2018 Good government is about being transparent, and this is the latest instance of those in charge of our children’s safety making no pretense about being slobbering lapdogs for the National Rifle Association. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: DeVos just the latest in gun-shootings debate to ignore guns | Commentary," 7 June 2018 That so many of our most powerful watchdogs have turned into lapdogs. Helen Ubiñas,, "In defense of being mean | Helen Ubiñas," 30 Apr. 2018 A few weeks ago, President Trump and his Republican lapdogs passed a bill that gives hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to our wealthiest corporations. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "Georgia gun lovers take bold stand against corporate handouts—for all the wrong reasons," 6 Mar. 2018 Duffy jersey Sadie’s been known to wear while still acting like a lapdog? Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Love for dogs has made Danny Duffy another of man's best friends | The Kansas City Star," 1 Mar. 2018 This is what Oroville Dam spillway looks like mid-February 2018 1:53 Why California officials fear this lapdog-sized swamp rodent 0:47 Watch drought conditions spread across California 0:42 There’s not much snow in the Sierra. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Invasive swamp rodent has California scrambling to come up with a battle plan | The Sacramento Bee," 22 Feb. 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

2 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for lapdog

The first known use of lapdog was in 1645

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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 \

Kids Definition of lapdog

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on lapdog

See words that rhyme with lapdog

Spanish Central: Translation of lapdog

Nglish: Translation of lapdog for Spanish Speakers

Comments on lapdog

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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