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 soon-to-be 36-year old has never been a full-time starter, but perhaps the Kraken won’t need Khudobin to be the top dog with Holtby in the fold. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Who might the Dallas Stars lose to the expansion draft in the summer?," 21 Dec. 2020 The department’s top dog, Tom Hui, resigned in March after a city attorney’s investigation alleged Hui gave preferential treatment to permit expediter Walter Wong and developer Zhang Li in exchange for gifts and meals. Heather Knight,, "S.F.’s building department is a mess. It's no wonder pay-to-play rules the day," 12 Dec. 2020 The top dog video conferencing, with a cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat and other features. Ben Flanagan |, al, "How do you even do a virtual Thanksgiving with your family?," 24 Nov. 2020 There's still plenty of bark left in the team's top dog. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Mike Zimmer's "stick together" message sparked Vikings' rebound," 21 Nov. 2020 Nellie has also reminded me of a quality that modern hunters have lost in our pursuit of the best gear, the biggest buck, or the top dog. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "Hunting with Nellie, a Retriever With Limitless Natural Instincts—and Embarrassingly Little Grace," 10 Nov. 2020 As the winner of the most votes, Oscar was named top dog in the readers' choice category. Michelle Matthews |, al, "How this Alabama city rallied behind Oscar the blind dog," 3 Nov. 2020 Chaminade-Madonna didn’t earn the top seed in this district last year, but the Lions were still the top dog. Adam Lichtenstein,, "Projecting how Broward teams will fare this season — district-by-district for Classes 8A-5A; by region for 4A-1A," 28 Oct. 2020 The top dog will grace the cover of LakewoodAlive’s 2021 wall calendar, with runners-up featured as dogs of the month. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Spooky pooches parade virtually after pandemic cancels live event," 27 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of top dog

1900, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of top dog was in 1900

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Top dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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

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