pa·​pil·​lon ˌpä-pē-ˈyōⁿ How to pronounce papillon (audio)
: any of a European breed of small slender toy spaniels having large erect heavily fringed ears

Examples of papillon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While Keith took the elderly dogs — a papillon and a rat terrier — their mother could no longer look after, Cash volunteered to take care of her day-to-day needs. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 19 Jan. 2024 There will be six dogs with special needs, including pug terrier Riddle, who has the neurological condition cerebellar hypoplasia, and Mr. Bean, a papillon who has only two hind legs. Bryan Alexander, The Courier-Journal, 11 Jan. 2024 That’s up there with Shiba Inus (14.6), papillons (14.5), miniature dachshunds and Italian greyhounds (14). Amanda Schupak, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 Behind them were Tibetan spaniels (15.2 years), Bolognese (14.9 years), shiba inus (14.6 years) and papillons (14.5 years), to name a few. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 Needing to get home to their two papillons, the couple leave empty-handed. Cathy Alter, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2023 Animal-at-large, attempt to locate: SOM Center Road Police were on the lookout for several days for a 3 1/2-pound black and white papillon dog named Chloe that got out of the yard around 5:30 p.m. July 10. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 22 July 2023 Quick, curious, and alert, papillon dogs stand between eight and 11 inches tall and weigh around five to 10 pounds. Country Living, 1 May 2023 Bulgari says the papillon device consumes less energy than a traditional minutes display. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 30 Aug. 2021

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

Word History


French, literally, butterfly, from Latin papilion-, papilio

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of papillon was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near papillon

Cite this Entry

“Papillon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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