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
Recent Examples of spaniel from the Web
Swinton’s springer spaniel Rosie (one of her four) was an inspiration.
Small breeds such as dachshunds, poodles and Chihuahuas are primarily at risk, but Chuck is a cavalier King Charles spaniel, a breed that typically develops the disease earlier in life than other small dogs.
The American Kidney Fund, yet another patient-advocacy fund, put me in touch with Lori Noyes, a 55-year-old nurse living in Upland, California, with her two cocker spaniels, Kirby and Tucker.
Forever the dog lover, Oprah also got a Wonder Woman crown for her cocker spaniel Sadie, who was not as enthusiastic as her owner.
Slobodchikoff arranged for various dogs — a husky, a golden retriever, a Dalmatian and a cocker spaniel — to wander through a prairie-dog colony one at a time.
His first memory of them was as a young boy racing a cocker spaniel named Denny to a bakery truck.
Okie, the family’s cocker spaniel rescue, kept watch.
Big dogs, small dogs, poodles, schnauzers, cocker spaniels, collies . .
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.
Origin and Etymology of spaniel
Middle English spaynel, spaniell, from Anglo-French espainnel, alteration of espaignol Spaniard, from Vulgar Latin *Hispaniolus, from Latin Hispania Spain
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
SPANIEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of spaniel for English Language Learners
: a type of small dog that has long ears and a soft coat
SPANIEL Defined for Kids
Definition of spaniel for Students
: a small or medium-sized dog with a thick wavy coat, long drooping ears, and usually short legs
Seen and Heard
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