noun, often attributive
\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) , ˈdäg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Definition of dog

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : canid wolves, foxes, and other dogs especially : a highly variable domestic mammal (Canis familiaris) closely related to the gray wolf the family's pet dog
b : a male dog dogs and bitches also : a male usually carnivorous mammal
2a : a worthless or contemptible person
b : fellow, chap a lazy dog you lucky dog
3a : any of various usually simple mechanical devices for holding, gripping, or fastening that consist of a spike, bar, or hook
b : andiron
4 : uncharacteristic or affected stylishness or dignity put on the dog
5 capitalized, astronomy : either of the constellations Canis Major or Canis Minor
6 dogs plural, anatomy : feet rest his tired dogs
7 dogs plural : ruin going to the dogs
8 : one inferior of its kind the movie was a dog : such as
a : an investment not worth its price
b : an undesirable piece of merchandise
9 : an unattractive person especially : an unattractive girl or woman
10 : hot dog sense 1 bought two dogs and a beer



Definition of dog (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : canine dog breeders a dog collar
2 : having an inferior or inauthentic quality : spurious dog rhyme especially, languages : unlike that used by native speakers or writers dog Latin dog French


dogged\ ˈdȯgd How to pronounce dog (audio) , ˈdägd \; dogging; dogs

Definition of dog (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to hunt, track, or follow (someone) like a hound dogged her every move
b : to be a persistent source of difficulty or distress to (someone) : plague Rumors dogged him throughout his public life.— Howard Chua-Eoan often used in the passive with by Their star pitcher has been dogged by injuries.The project has been dogged by controversy.
c : to bother or pester (someone) persistently : hound Reporters dogged her for information.
2 : to fasten (something) with a dog (see dog entry 1 sense 3a) dogged down the hatch
dog it
: to fail to do one's best : goldbrick



Definition of dog (Entry 4 of 4)

: extremely, utterly dog cheap sometimes used in combination In plain West Virginia-speak, the situation is dog-ugly.— Mitch Vingle — see also dog-tired

Illustration of dog

Illustration of dog


dog 1a: 1 pastern, 2 chest, 3 flews, 4 muzzle, 5 stop, 6 occiput, 7 leather, 8 crest, 9 withers, 10 loin, 11 point of rump, 12 hock or tarsus, 13 knee or stifle, 14 brisket, 15 elbow, 16 feathering

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from dog


doglike \ ˈdȯg-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dog (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for dog

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of dog in a Sentence

Noun That dog barks all day long. children playing with the family dog wild dogs such as the Australian dingo They say she's a real dog. Her latest book turned out to be a real dog. That was a dog of a movie. Verb He dogged her every move. Creditors dogged him until he finally paid his bills.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gunther VI's wealth is handled by The Gunther Corporation, which was created and designed to ensure that the dog is properly cared for. Dan Heching,, 18 Nov. 2021 In one of the instances, charging documents state, Gilbert took one of the dogs out into the woods and kicked the dog to death. Carol Robinson |, al, 18 Nov. 2021 Some earlier reports said the dog’s leash had been tied around Adams waist. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Nov. 2021 After the responding officer and police dispatch identified and contacted the owner from the dog’s collar, they were asked to take it home and put it inside the house. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 17 Nov. 2021 Amid the outpouring of shock and anger, the dog's death has sparked heated debate about animal rights, as well as reflection on how far government power can be expanded during the pandemic at the expense of individual rights. Tara John, CNN, 17 Nov. 2021 The pet’s owner claims that the workers were ordered to euthanize the dog while she was sent to a centralized quarantine because a case of COVID-19 was discovered in her apartment complex. Clay Chandler And Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2021 Last year, the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the U.S. died months later after his owners and vet made the decision to euthanize him. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2021 And, of course, Bosch (the dog) met Bosch (the actor Titus Welliver). Bethy Squires, Vulture, 14 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Many suggest its the potential exposure to exercise that explains the benefit: The AHA points to studies that found pet owners who walk their dogs got up to 30 minutes more exercise a day than non-dog-walkers. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 26 Aug. 2021 State records show dog handler applications were submitted under ISS for dozens of guards. Joe Mahr,, 1 Aug. 2019 Dog beds: Hemp Vintage Stripe Envelope in Black; Southern Living, 1 Sep. 2013 For entertainment, there will be dog races, a police K-9 demonstration, dogs splashing into water and Repticon, a showing of exotic pets, consisting of reptiles, insects and amphibians. Louis Casiano Jr., Orange County Register, 28 Apr. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the California recall winds down to its final hours, a central question has emerged that will probably dog gubernatorial hopefuls and voters into the upcoming 2022 election. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 These breakdowns would dog him throughout his life, and inflict the various Sebaldian personae who proliferate in his books. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, 19 Aug. 2021 The chicken products recall is the latest in a summer of high-profile recalls in the United States, ranging from muffins to dog food. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 But an Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of public records tied to Walker’s business ventures and his divorce, including many not previously reported, sheds new light on a turbulent personal history that could dog his Senate bid. Brian Slodysko,, 23 July 2021 That reputation was already beginning to dog him even at the height of his fame and popularity; one irate Midwestern reader complained that his book recommendations amounted to force feeding marshmallows to Americans. Mark Peikert, Town & Country, 6 Aug. 2021 But an Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of public records tied to Walker's business ventures and his divorce, including many not previously reported, sheds new light on a turbulent personal history that could dog his Senate bid. Brian Slodysko, Star Tribune, 23 July 2021 Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not endear himself to dog lovers on either side of the aisle this week., 23 June 2021 The backdrop was in stark contrast to photos taken two years earlier at Oracle Park, where the section, thanks to the Giants, annually holds its championship game and where the Cardinals regularly dog pile after the final out. Mitch Stephens, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 dog


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1519, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dog


Middle English, from Old English docga


from attributive use of dog entry 1


derivative of dog entry 1


derivative of dog entry 1

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Time Traveler for dog

Time Traveler

The first known use of dog was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near dog



dog's age

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Statistics for dog

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dog.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for dog


\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Kids Definition of dog

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a domestic animal that eats meat and is closely related to the wolves
2 : any of the group of mammals (as wolves, foxes, and jackals) to which the domestic dog belongs
3 : person sense 1 You lucky dog!

Other Words from dog

doglike \ ˈdȯ-​ˌglīk \ adjective


dogged; dogging

Kids Definition of dog (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to hunt, track, or follow like a hound I dogged them all the way.
2 : pester
3 : to cause problems for Injuries dogged the team.


noun, often attributive
\ ˈdȯg How to pronounce dog (audio) \

Medical Definition of dog

: a highly variable carnivorous domesticated mammal of the genus Canis (C. familiaris) closely related to the common wolf (Canis lupus) broadly : any member of the family Canidae

More from Merriam-Webster on dog

Nglish: Translation of dog for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dog for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about dog


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