lap dog

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noun

a small pet dog that can easily be held in the lap.

Origin of lap dog

First recorded in 1635–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of lapdog


British Dictionary definitions for lapdog

lapdog

noun

a pet dog small and docile enough to be cuddled in the lap
informal a person who attaches himself to someone in admiration or infatuation
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

Word Origin and History for lapdog
n.

also lap-dog, 1640s, from lap (n.) + dog (n.); figurative sense of "subservient person" is by 1950.

Senator McCarthy (R-Wis) renewed his Communists-in-Government charges today and called Senator Tydings (D-Md) the Truman administration's "whimpering lap dog." [AP news story, Aug. 7, 1950]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper