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sea dog

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noun
  1. a sailor, especially an old or experienced one.
  2. harbor seal.
  3. a dogfish.
  4. a pirate or privateer.

Origin of sea dog

First recorded in 1590–1600
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sea-dog

Historical Examples

  • Brave, courageous Venetian sea-dog, you are just in the nick of time!

    Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea

    Charles H. L. Johnston

  • “Not a bit of it,” said the skipper bluntly, in sea-dog fashion.

    Fritz and Eric

    John Conroy Hutcheson

  • I am in no one's way, and that sea-dog could do his work as well with me here as without me.

    Lord Montagu's Page

    G. P. R. James

  • The Californian sea-elephant and the sea-dog of the West Indies have shared a like fate.

  • The gait of the man would have proclaimed him a sea-dog, to any one acquainted with that animal, as far as he could be seen.

    Jack Tier or The Florida Reef

    James Fenimore Cooper


British Dictionary definitions for sea-dog

sea dog

noun
  1. an experienced or old sailor
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

Word Origin and History for sea-dog

n.

1590s, "harbor seal," from sea + dog (n.). Also "pirate" (1650s). Meaning "old seaman, sailor who has been long afloat" is attested from 1840.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper