span·​iel | \ ˈspan-yəl How to pronounce spaniel (audio) also ˈspa-nᵊl \

Definition of spaniel

1 : a member of any of several breeds of small or medium-sized mostly short-legged dogs usually having long wavy hair, feathered legs and tail, and large drooping ears
2 : a fawning servile person

Examples of spaniel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The clients’ spaniel, Jake, lays claim to the best spot in the former hayloft, which overlooks sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Kristin Tablang, House Beautiful, 22 Sep. 2021 On an August afternoon, the 33-year-old singer and songwriter arrived there to find a basketball rolled into the driveway, tiny swimsuits drying on the porch and a spaniel, Bean, rooting around the percussion section for a stick. New York Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Created out of beechwood and featuring a floral-print velvet cushion emblazoned with a spaniel, the Francesina chair winks at you while adding just the right jolt of energy. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 July 2021 The turquoise sandals, which have a brown heel and straps and white buttons, got destroyed when Aidan’s Brittany spaniel dragged them into Carrie’s bathroom and began gnawing on them. Eliza Huber,, 25 May 2021 Below a clouded sky in the middle of Illinois prairie, a handsome brown spaniel dashed ahead through brambles and bobbed back up with a catch. Morgan Greene,, 7 May 2021 Barnum’s Hall of Human Curiosities played Buckingham Palace; Queen Victoria reportedly died when Thumb unsheathed his itty-bitty sword to stage-fight her royal spaniel. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 18 Apr. 2021 The collection, which includes a cavalier spaniel and dachshund, is a play on dogs in military garb. Lia Picard, House Beautiful, 2 Apr. 2021 Her answer: fostering Benny, a spaniel mix who’d just been pummeled by a car. Chris Erskinecolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spaniel.' 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 spaniel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spaniel

Middle English spaynel, spaniell, from Anglo-French espainnel, alteration of espaignol Spaniard, from Vulgar Latin *Hispaniolus, from Latin Hispania Spain

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The first known use of spaniel was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Spaniel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for spaniel



English Language Learners Definition of spaniel

: a type of small dog that has long ears and a soft coat


span·​iel | \ ˈspan-yəl How to pronounce spaniel (audio) \

Kids Definition of spaniel

: a small or medium-sized dog with a thick wavy coat, long drooping ears, and usually short legs

More from Merriam-Webster on spaniel

Nglish: Translation of spaniel for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about spaniel


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