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 PalmPilot was the top dog in the 90s, though a series of corporate mergers and restructuring eventually sunk the company. PCMAG, 4 May 2022 God, baseball movies have been extinct for so long, but Bull Durham is the top dog for me in terms of tone. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Mar. 2022 The Male High School boys basketball team left little doubt Saturday night about the top dog in the Seventh Region. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 30 Jan. 2022 And LaVine was LaVine, dependable as ever despite an early-season thumb injury and then a lingering left knee issue, willing to cede his role as top dog during closing time to let DeRozan do his thing. Paul Sullivan,, 2 Apr. 2022 From that point on, mainstream hip hop had a new top dog and one with a serious bite. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 Apr. 2021 The top dog responsibilities are nothing new to Max Scherzer, who led the league in strikeouts in three straight seasons between 2016 and 2018 with the Nationals. Andrew Tredinnick, USA TODAY, 2 Apr. 2022 Not surprising, most responses were pro-dog; somewhat surprising, many supported the over-the-top dog owner; and most surprising, few backed the girlfriend who wanted some dog-free time with her boyfriend. Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Mar. 2022 The definitive measure of who’s top dog will be judged by who gets the most teams in the Sweet 16! Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of top dog

1900, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About top dog

Time Traveler for top dog

Time Traveler

The first known use of top dog was in 1900

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near top dog


top dog

top dollar

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for top dog

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Top dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on top dog

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for top dog


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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