- 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.
- 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.
verb (used with object), dogged, dog·ging.
- to shirk one's responsibility; loaf on the job.
- to retreat, flee, renege, etc.: a sponsor who dogged it when needed most.
Origin of dog
Examples from the Web for dogs
None, however, have been as all-out cute as this one, a shot-for-shot remake of the teaser with dogs and cats.
This health tracker for dogs fits snugly around collars and monitors activity with the goal of making dogs happier and healthier.
Its time for the government to put a stop to it for good and ban eating cats and dogs.
“In almost all rural areas of Switzerland, it is customary to eat cats and dogs,” she says.
Yes, animal rights activists are trying to ban the eating of cats and dogs in Switzerland.
The dog on the roof barked viciously, then all the dogs in the village barked.The Red Cross in Peace and War|Clara Barton
He had in the highest degree what is called in human nature "genius," and in dogs and horses "instinct."The Maid of Sker|Richard Doddridge Blackmore
But I used to come up here every day and take the dogs out for a run.The Count's Chauffeur|William Le Queux
When we went to tea or dinner with these people Jimmie and I had to be dragged along like dogs who are muzzled for the first time.Abroad with the Jimmies|Lilian Bell
My dogs look like they are going to explode, said Chuck as he wiggled his toes in the cool water.Slim Evans and his Horse Lightning|Graham M. Dean
British Dictionary definitions for dogs (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for dogs (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for dogs (3 of 3)
- 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
- spurious, inferior, or uselessdog Latin
- (in combination)dogberry
verb dogs, dogging or dogged (tr)
Word Origin for dog
Word Origin and History for dogs (1 of 3)
"feet," 1913, from rhyming slang dog's meat.
Word Origin and History for dogs (1 of 3)
Old English docga, a late, rare word used of a powerful breed of canine. It forced out Old English hund (the general Germanic and Indo-European word; see canine) by 16c. and subsequently was picked up in many continental languages (e.g. French dogue (16c.), Danish dogge), but the origin remains one of the great mysteries of English etymology.
Many expressions -- a dog's life (c.1600), go to the dogs (1610s), etc. -- reflect earlier hard use of the animals as hunting accessories, not pampered pets. In ancient times, "the dog" was the worst throw in dice (attested in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, where the word for "the lucky player" was literally "the dog-killer"), which plausibly explains the Greek word for "danger," kindynas, which appears to be "play the dog."
Slang meaning "ugly woman" is from 1930s; that of "sexually aggressive man" is from 1950s. Adjectival phrase dog-eat-dog attested by 1850s. Dog tag is from 1918. To dog-ear a book is from 1650s; dog-eared in extended sense of "worn, unkempt" is from 1894.
Notwithstanding, as a dog hath a day, so may I perchance have time to declare it in deeds. [Princess Elizabeth, 1550]
It is ill wakyng of a sleapyng dogge. [Heywood, 1562]
Phrase put on the dog "get dressed up" (1934) may look back to the stiff stand-up shirt collars that in the 1890s were the height of male fashion (and were known as dog-collars at least from 1883), with reference to collars worn by dogs. The common Spanish word for "dog," perro, also is a mystery word of unknown origin, perhaps from Iberian. A group of Slavic "dog" words (Old Church Slavonic pisu, Polish pies, Serbo-Croatian pas) likewise are of unknown origin.
Word Origin and History for dogs (2 of 3)
"to track like a dog," 1510s, see dog (n.). Related: Dogged; dogging.
Idioms and Phrases with dogs
In addition to the idioms beginning with dog
- dog days
- dog eat dog
- dog in the manger
- dog it
- 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)