top dog

noun

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 top dogs are all young and inexperienced; at 47, Mr Sánchez is the oldest of the national leaders. The Economist, "Spain stumbles towards a government," 18 July 2019 The Elmbrook School District has been ranked top dog for school districts in the state of Wisconsin by Niche. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Elmbrook is the top school district in the state, report says. Whitefish Bay and Mequon-Thiensville are next.," 13 Aug. 2019 Still, every discussion about the receiving corps has to start with Robinson, the top dog in a room full of hungry and competitive pass catchers. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "What is the ceiling for a fully healthy Allen Robinson? A closer look at the Bears wide receivers," 31 July 2019 Right now, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model is generally seen as the top dog. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The long-awaited upgrade to the US weather forecast model is here," 12 June 2019 But with the top dogs headed elsewhere, after D’Angelo Russell, Brogdon was the best available guard on the market. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Some question, most love Pacers' signings of Brogdan, Lamb," 1 July 2019 That moment when the underdogs became the NFL’s top dogs. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles are no longer underdogs after Super Bowl LII win," 4 Feb. 2018 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

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

14 Sep 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

noun

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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