pa·​pil·​lon | \ ˌpä-pē-ˈyōⁿ How to pronounce papillon (audio) , ˌpa- \

Definition of papillon

: 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 Piper (A456639), a 2-year-old white-and-brown female papillon, is available for adoption. Washington Post, "Prince George’s County adopt a pet," 25 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'papillon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of papillon

1907, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for papillon

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about papillon

Time Traveler for papillon

Time Traveler

The first known use of papillon was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Statistics for papillon

Cite this Entry

“Papillon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on papillon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papillon Encyclopedia article about papillon

Comments on papillon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!