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[burd-dawg, -dog] /ˈbɜrdˌdɔg, -ˌdɒg/
verb (used with object), bird-dogged, bird-dogging. Informal.
to follow, watch carefully, or investigate.
to seek out.
verb (used without object), bird-dogged, bird-dogging.
Informal. to follow or watch carefully.
Slang. to steal or attempt to steal another person's date.
Origin of bird-dog
v. use of bird dog

bird dog

one of any of various breeds of dogs trained to hunt or retrieve birds.
Informal. a person hired to locate special items or people, especially a talent scout who seeks out promising athletes.
Slang. a person who steals another person's date.
An Americanism dating back to 1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bird-dog
Historical Examples
  • Hurley sniffed like a bird-dog that has just raised a covey.

    The Heart of Canyon Pass Thomas K. Holmes
  • He was a bird-dog, and so bright it seemed as if he could almost talk.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • But somehow they seem to lack the pride and responsiveness that I find in those with bird-dog ancestry.

    Baldy of Nome

    Esther Birdsall Darling
  • Say, one of Mr. Ferrall's men was here just now—there he is, over there uncrating that there bird-dog!

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • He seemed to look at nothing, now—like a bird-dog that senses the nearness of the invisible quarry.

  • He was seldom at rest, scampering here and there, not unlike a bird-dog on a fresh scent.

    The Master Mystery

    Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
  • His bird-dog lay on the mat outside the door and sprang forward with a joyous whine to meet him.

    The Sins of the Father

    Thomas Dixon
  • As he stepped into the familiar entrance-hall, Bryce paused, raised his head and sniffed suspiciously, like a bird-dog.

    The Valley of the Giants Peter B. Kyne
  • She felt herself being charmed by it, and wondered if a quail might feel so while crouching before the point of a bird-dog.

    Sunlight Patch

    Credo Fitch Harris
  • It's fine with any of 'em that's got bird-dog blood, an' you know Spot's part pointer.

    Baldy of Nome

    Esther Birdsall Darling
British Dictionary definitions for bird-dog

bird dog

(hunting) a dog used or trained to retrieve game birds after they are shot
verb -dogs, -dogging, -dogged
(informal) to control closely with unceasing vigilance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for bird-dog

bird dog

noun phrase

  1. A person, like a detective, talent scout, etc, whose job is to find something or someone (1930+)
  2. A chaperon at a dance or a third person on a date, appointed to be vigilant (1930s+ Students)
  3. A tactical officer, enforcing order and discipline (1930s+ Service academy)
  4. A fighter or interceptor aircraft
  5. An aircraft that spotted and marked targets (WWII Army Air Forces)
  6. The automatic direction-finding instrument of an aircraft (1970s+ Airline)
  7. A radar detector: The cop is sitting there with a bird dog (1970s+ Citizens band)


  1. To act asa bird dog: Leo Browne was doing some ''bird-dogging'' for the Yankees (1930+)
  2. To seduce or go out with another girl's boyfriend: Sorry to bird-dog you, but the guy asked me to the spring concert (1990s+ Teenagers)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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