[hang-dawg, -dog]


browbeaten; defeated; intimidated; abject: He always went about with a hangdog look.
shamefaced; guilty: He sneaked out of the room with a hangdog expression.
suitable to a degraded or contemptible person; sneaky; furtive.


Archaic. a degraded, contemptible person.

Origin of hangdog

First recorded in 1670–80; hang + dog

Synonyms for hangdog

Antonyms for hangdog

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hangdog

Contemporary Examples of hangdog

Historical Examples of hangdog

  • There was no lowering of the eyelids when they confessed; no hangdog look about the mouth.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • They say he couldn't look such a miserable, hangdog wretch for nothing.

    A Sheaf of Corn

    Mary E. Mann

  • "Joan, I kissed you because I can't be a hangdog any longer," he said.

  • "We kept on improving the gadget," he said with hangdog attitude.

    The Kenzie Report

    Mark Clifton

  • To that hangdog creature might fall the task of driving Betty home!

    My Little Sister

    Elizabeth Robins

British Dictionary definitions for hangdog



downcast, furtive, or guilty in appearance or manner


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