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noun (1)

: any of a breed of small sturdy compact dogs of Asian origin with a smooth, short coat, tightly curled tail, short muzzle, and broad wrinkled face
: a close knot or coil of hair : bun

Illustration of pug

Illustration of pug
  • pug 1


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pugged; pugging

transitive verb

: to work and mix (a substance, such as clay) when wet especially to make more homogeneous and easier to handle (as in throwing or molding wares)


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noun (2)


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noun (3)

Examples of pug in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
There is also growing evidence that popular flat-faced breeds such as bulldogs and pugs experience greater health complications linked to breathing issues and skin conditions, compared with breeds that have a longer muzzle. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 2 Feb. 2024 Lanes dedicated to pugs with GoPros riding skateboards? Charlie Dektar, The New Yorker, 17 Jan. 2024 Worried something was wrong, Northwood and her family took her silent pug to Newton Clarke Veterinary Surgery. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 The duo–and their pampered pugs–officially stepped down from the label in 2008, passing the mantle to creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 4 Dec. 2023 After her stay, Smith relocated to Rome for two years, learned Italian and even adopted a pug identical to the dog faithfully found by Monti’s side. Laura Rysman, New York Times, 16 Dec. 2023 What's more, breeds like pugs or bulldogs with small or twisted tails can also have back problems as a result of selective breeding. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 Many French bulldogs and pugs can only take in air through their mouths. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2023 Her mother, her grandmother and her pug Eli all died within a year. Rob Goyanes, Los Angeles Times, 13 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

obsolete pug hobgoblin, monkey


origin unknown

Noun (2)

by shortening & alteration from pugilist

Noun (3)

Hindi & Urdu pag foot, step

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1751, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1843, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1858, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pug was in 1751

Dictionary Entries Near pug

Cite this Entry

“Pug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pug. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of a breed of small sturdy compact dogs having a short coat, tightly curled tail, and broad wrinkled face

More from Merriam-Webster on pug

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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