- to follow, watch carefully, or investigate.
- to seek out.
- 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
- 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.
Origin of bird dog
An Americanism dating back to 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bird-dog
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.Children of the Desert
- hunting a dog used or trained to retrieve game birds after they are shot
- 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