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[puhp] /pʌp/
a young dog; puppy.
the young of certain other animals, as the rat or fur seal.
a small plant developing as an offshoot from a mature plant.
verb (used without object), pupped, pupping.
to give birth to pups.
Origin of pup
First recorded in 1580-90; apocopated variant of puppy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pup
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Busted more clotheslines than I've got fingers and toes, that pup has.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The moment his back was turned, the pup had sneaked into the kitchen.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Bill Dancing decided, off-hand, that “the pup” was worthless.

    The Mountain Divide Frank H. Spearman
  • He had a blacksnake whip in his hand and was teasing a pup with it.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • Here in the rich cream of the day we're waiting for the mail, Dan'l and I and the pup.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
British Dictionary definitions for pup


  1. a young dog, esp when under one year of age; puppy
  2. the young of various other animals, such as the seal
in pup, (of a bitch) pregnant
(informal, mainly Brit, derogatory) a conceited young man (esp in the phrase young pup)
sell someone a pup, to swindle someone by selling him something worthless
(Austral, slang) the night's a pup, it's early yet
verb pups, pupping, pupped
(of dogs, seals, etc) to give birth to (young)
Word Origin
C18: back formation from puppy
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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Word Origin and History for pup

"young dog," 1760, shortened form of puppy (q.v.). Used from 1580s for "conceited person." Applied to the young of the fur seal from 1815. Used for "inexperienced person" by 1890. Pup tent (also dog tent) is from 1863. Sopwith pup, popular name of the Sopwith Scout Tractor airplane, is from 1917.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pup



  1. A young, inexperienced person; kid, punk (1890+)
  2. hot dog (1940s+)
  3. A small four-wheeled truck trailer (1940s+ Truckers)
  4. (also puppy)A thing; baby, sucker: I guess we turn this pup around/ You can mail this puppy in or you can appear at the tribal court (1980s+)

Related Terms

guttersnipe, snuggle-pup

[ultimately fr French poupe´e, ''doll'']

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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