span·​iel ˈspan-yəl How to pronounce spaniel (audio)
 also  ˈspa-nᵊl
: 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
: a fawning servile person

Examples of spaniel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Thursday, his caseload included doing acupuncture on five cats, a Clumber spaniel named Aspen and a guinea pig named Pony; vaccinating a 14-year-old Bichon Frisé named Cabo San Lucas and doing a checkup on a 30-pound, 12-week-old Bernese mountain dog. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, 27 June 2024 But the spaniels in the paintings are almost always the cinnamon-and-white variety known as a Blenheim spaniel. David Frum, The Atlantic, 21 Mar. 2024 Or did our 9-year-old spaniel mix just feel forgotten as all the humans were busying themselves with the wedding of Arya’s owners — Laura Shorey and our son Max. Rick Montgomery, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 For example, Tibetan spaniels could live to the ripe age of 15.2 years, an extremely old age for a dog with their flattened facial proportions. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 2 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for spaniel 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near spaniel

Cite this Entry

“Spaniel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


span·​iel ˈspan-yəl How to pronounce spaniel (audio)
: a member of any of several breeds of small or medium-sized mostly short-legged dogs that usually have long wavy hair and large drooping ears

More from Merriam-Webster on spaniel

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