1 : to watch closely
Did You Know?
People began using bird-dog as a verb meaning "to closely watch someone or something" or "to doggedly seek out someone or something" in the early 20th century. Both meanings reflect skills likely to be possessed by a well-trained bird dog—that is, a hunting dog trained to hunt or retrieve birds. By the 1930s, bird-dogging was being used specifically as a term for stealing someone else's date. And, not long after that, it began to be used for the scouting out of customers or prospective talent. The noun bird dog refers to the canines one would expect, and is also used as a name for the date stealers and scouts who do the bird-dogging.
With millions of city dollars invested, citizens are bird-dogging the riverfront development project to its completion.
"Also in line for a guaranteed budget is the new deputy inspector general for public safety charged with auditing police practices, identifying troubling trends, recommending changes to the police contract and bird-dogging the new multi-tiered accountability system." — Fran Spielman, The Chicago Sun-Times, 4 Oct. 2016
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What 4-letter verb beginning with "t" can mean "to spy on" or "to promote or talk up"?VIEW THE ANSWER
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