[ hang-dawg, -dog ]
See synonyms for hangdog on Thesaurus.com
  1. shamefaced; guilty: He sneaked out of the room with a hangdog expression.

  2. browbeaten; defeated; intimidated: He always went about with a hangdog look.

  1. suitable to a degraded or contemptible person; sneaky; furtive.

  1. a degraded, contemptible person.

Origin of hangdog

First recorded in 1670–80; hang + dog

Other words for hangdog

Opposites for hangdog

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hangdog in a sentence

  • The thought of that hang-dog visage, and the beautiful ornaments I had given him, was enough to make a dead man merry.

    The Making of a Saint | William Somerset Maugham
  • I cannot think yon hang dog look of his belongs to any one who knows the gentle rules of woodcraft.

    Quentin Durward | Sir Walter Scott
  • Nancy told Aldo about the viatique, and he said, with a hang-dog air, he would go and ask for it.

    The Devourers | Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • I was never myself with it, felt hang-dog—it was impossible a girl could care for such a fellow as I was.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete | George Meredith
  • For a moment Louis' hang-dog face—none the handsomer for the mark of the Syndic's cane—spelt refusal.

    The Long Night | Stanley Weyman

British Dictionary definitions for hangdog


/ (ˈhæŋˌdɒɡ) /

  1. downcast, furtive, or guilty in appearance or manner

  1. a furtive or sneaky person

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