[ dawg, dog ]
See synonyms for: dogdoggeddoggingdogs on

  1. a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties.

  2. : See also canid.

    • any carnivore of the dog family Canidae, having prominent canine teeth and, in the wild state, a long and slender muzzle, a deep-chested muscular body, a bushy tail, and large, erect ears.

    • the male of such an animal.

  1. any of various animals resembling a dog.

  2. a despicable man or youth.

  3. Informal. a fellow in general: a lucky dog.

  4. dogs, Slang. feet.

  5. Slang.

    • something worthless or of extremely poor quality: That used car you bought is a dog.

    • an utter failure; flop: Critics say his new play is a dog.

  6. Slang. an ugly, boring, or crude person.

  7. Slang. hot dog.

  8. Dog, Astronomy. either of two constellations, Canis Major or Canis Minor.

  9. Machinery.

    • any of various mechanical devices, as for gripping or holding something.

    • a projection on a moving part for moving steadily or for tripping another part with which it engages.

  10. Also called gripper, nipper .Metalworking. a device on a drawbench for drawing the work through the die.

  11. a cramp binding together two timbers.

  12. an iron bar driven into a stone or timber to provide a means of lifting it.

  13. Meteorology. a sundog or fogdog.

  14. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter D.

verb (used with object),dogged, dog·ging.
  1. to follow or track like a dog, especially with hostile intent; hound: After the film, the actor was dogged by paparazzi.

  2. to cause persistent problems or distress; haunt; plague: She was dogged by a sense of guilt over her part in the scandal.

  1. to drive or chase with a dog or dogs.

  2. Machinery. to fasten with dogs.

Idioms about dog

  1. dog it, Informal.

    • to shirk one's responsibility; loaf on the job.

    • to retreat, flee, renege, etc.: Her sponsor dogged it when she needed him most.

  2. go to the dogs, Informal. to deteriorate; degenerate morally or physically: This neighborhood is going to the dogs.

  1. lead a dog's life, to have an unhappy or harassed existence: He complains that he led a dog's life in the army.

  2. let sleeping dogs lie, to refrain from action that would alter an existing situation for fear of causing greater problems or complexities.

  3. put on the dog, Informal. to assume an attitude of wealth or importance; put on airs.

  4. throw (someone or something) to the wolves / dogs, Informal. wolf (def. 13).

Origin of dog

First recorded before 1050; from Middle English dogge, from Old English docga; further origin uncertain

Other words from dog

  • dog·less, adjective
  • dog·like, adjective

Words Nearby dog Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dog in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dog


/ (dɒɡ) /

    • a domesticated canine mammal, Canis familiaris, occurring in many breeds that show a great variety in size and form

    • (as modifier): dog biscuit

    • any other carnivore of the family Canidae, such as the dingo and coyote

    • (as modifier): the dog family Related adjective: canine

    • the male of animals of the dog family

    • (as modifier): a dog fox

  1. (modifier)

    • spurious, inferior, or useless: dog Latin

    • (in combination): dogberry

  2. a mechanical device for gripping or holding, esp one of the axial slots by which gear wheels or shafts are engaged to transmit torque

  3. informal a fellow; chap: you lucky dog

  4. informal a man or boy regarded as unpleasant, contemptible, or wretched

  5. US informal a male friend: used as a term of address

  6. slang an unattractive or boring girl or woman

  7. US and Canadian informal something unsatisfactory or inferior

  8. short for firedog

  9. any of various atmospheric phenomena: See fogdog, seadog, sundog

  10. a dog's chance no chance at all

  11. a dog's dinner or a dog's breakfast informal something that is messy or bungled

  12. a dog's life a wretched existence

  13. dog eat dog ruthless competition or self-interest

  14. like a dog's dinner informal dressed smartly or ostentatiously

  15. put on the dog US and Canadian informal to behave or dress in an ostentatious or showy manner

verbdogs, dogging or dogged (tr)
  1. to pursue or follow after like a dog

  2. to trouble; plague: to be dogged by ill health

  1. to chase with a dog or dogs

  2. to grip, hold, or secure by a mechanical device

  1. (usually in combination) thoroughly; utterly: dog-tired

Origin of dog

Old English docga, of obscure origin

Derived forms of dog

  • doglike, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with dog


In addition to the idioms beginning with dog

  • dog days
  • dog eat dog
  • dog in the manger
  • dog it

also see:

  • coon's (dog's) age
  • every dog has its day
  • go to pot (the dogs)
  • hair of the dog
  • hot dog
  • in the doghouse
  • let sleeping dogs lie
  • put on the dog
  • rain cats and dogs
  • see a man about a dog
  • shaggy dog story
  • sick as a dog
  • tail wagging the dog
  • teach an old dog new tricks
  • throw to the wolves (dogs)
  • top banana (dog)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.