top dog


: a person, group, or thing in a position of authority especially through victory in a hard-fought competition

Examples of top dog in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite being the top dog, the U.S. saw a 2.1% decline in billionaires—less than the global average, but higher than eight of the top 15 countries. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 15 June 2023 But, as with his character, the question is whether people see him as a top dog. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Aug. 2023 Even though Brantley firmly believes that there are other programs that are capable of making a mark, Lathrop will still be viewed as the top dog until proven otherwise. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Aug. 2023 McGraw wrote alongside a photo of his top dog with a purple and gold ribbon. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 18 July 2023 In its stead, China has become the top dog, alongside the U.S. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 17 Aug. 2023 Gone are the days when Netflix was the top dog in town as there are now dozens of great platforms vying for your attention with their diverse selections of movies, TV shows, and even live sports. Christian De Looper, Peoplemag, 6 Aug. 2023 Even top dogs, who have the benefit of consoling themselves with massive exit packages. Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune, 22 Mar. 2023 Cadillac’s attempt to dethrone Rolls-Royce as the top dog in ultra-luxury vehicles now has its own price tag. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 4 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of top dog was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near top dog

Cite this Entry

“Top dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on top dog

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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