[hang-dawg, -dog]
See more synonyms for hangdog on Thesaurus.com
  1. browbeaten; defeated; intimidated; abject: He always went about with a hangdog look.
  2. shamefaced; guilty: He sneaked out of the room with a hangdog expression.
  3. suitable to a degraded or contemptible person; sneaky; furtive.
  1. Archaic. a degraded, contemptible person.

Origin of hangdog

First recorded in 1670–80; hang + dog

Synonyms for hangdog

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Antonyms for hangdog

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


  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