top dog


Definition of 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

The sporting, working and terrier groups will be judged Tuesday before the top dog among the more than 2,800 entries in 203 breeds and varieties is chosen. Ben Walker, The Seattle Times, "Dachshunds get chance to break out of Westminster doghouse," 12 Feb. 2019 The opportunity is there for Mount Si to displace perennial KingCo 4A powers Woodinville (defending league champ and state runner-up), Bothell and Skyline as top dog. Matt Massey, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s like telepathy’: Receiver Jonny Barrett’s connection with QB Cale Millen has Mount Si thinking big," 27 Aug. 2018 The Orion 9000 is the company’s top dog that—get this—comes with wheels and a handle. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Acer, Alienware, and HP have all announced desktops with GeForce RTX," 20 Aug. 2018 The top dog is clear, though: 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX with 32 cores, 64 threads, and a base clock of 3GHz and boost clock of 4.2GHz, for $1,799. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's 32-core Threadripper dares Intel to match it on cores and price," 6 Aug. 2018 However, AMD’s new flagship CPU is actually a pretty spectacular bargain compared to Intel’s top dog, the Core i-7980XE, which launched last year with 18 cores and a price of $2,000. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "AMD's 32-core Threadripper dares Intel to match it on cores and price," 6 Aug. 2018 With its handsome budget, Sky can afford the best support riders around, none bigger than Thomas, who would be the top dog almost anywhere else. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Who Will Win the Tour de France? On One Team, It’s Awkward," 23 July 2018 Former shuttle commander and current director of flight operations Mark Kelly is an executive, as is Alan Stern, former top science official at NASA and current top dog on the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "A Former Astronaut Will Be Flying Balloons to the Edge of Space," 23 Feb. 2016 As an actual racing game, which is what The Crew 2 is, after all, the controls are not as tight or complex as those seen in the genre's top dogs Forza and Gran Turismo. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Crew 2': Game Review," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'top dog.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of top dog

1900, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about top dog

Statistics for top dog

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for top dog

The first known use of top dog was in 1900

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for top dog

top dog


English Language Learners Definition of top dog

informal : a person or group that has the most power or success

More from Merriam-Webster on top dog

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with top dog

Comments on top dog

What made you want to look up top dog? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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