a young dog; puppy.
the young of certain other animals, as the rat or fur seal.
a small plant developing as an offshoot from a mature plant.

verb (used without object), pupped, pup·ping.

to give birth to pups.

Origin of pup

First recorded in 1580–90; apocopated variant of puppy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pup

Contemporary Examples of pup

  • You can even compare your pup to other similar breeds to offer an understanding of where your dog falls on the activity spectrum.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fitness Gadgets … for Your Dog

    Megan Humphreys

    February 18, 2014

  • Has your pup suddenly become more lethargic in your absence?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fitness Gadgets … for Your Dog

    Megan Humphreys

    February 18, 2014

  • Who really owns a dog, if no official paperwork is signed as the pup gets transferred from one person to the next?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dog Fight Over Obie, the Dieting Dachshund

    Winston Ross

    November 4, 2012

  • Walking their pup Lupo in Kensington Park is an almost daily occurrence when they are in London.

    The Daily Beast logo
    William at Thirty

    Tom Sykes

    June 21, 2012

  • Designer Simon Spurr brought along his hulking, 90-pound pup Apollo.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Fashion Free for All

    The Daily Beast

    September 11, 2010

Historical Examples of pup

  • Busted more clotheslines than I've got fingers and toes, that pup has.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The moment his back was turned, the pup had sneaked into the kitchen.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Bill Dancing decided, off-hand, that “the pup” was worthless.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • He had a blacksnake whip in his hand and was teasing a pup with it.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • Here in the rich cream of the day we're waiting for the mail, Dan'l and I and the pup.

    Jane Journeys On

    Ruth Comfort Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for pup



  1. a young dog, esp when under one year of age; puppy
  2. the young of various other animals, such as the seal
in pup (of a bitch) pregnant
informal, mainly British derogatory a conceited young man (esp in the phrase young pup)
sell someone a pup to swindle someone by selling him something worthless
the night's a pup Australian slang it's early yet

verb pups, pupping or pupped

(of dogs, seals, etc) to give birth to (young)

Word Origin for pup

C18: back formation from puppy
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 pup

"young dog," 1760, shortened form of puppy (q.v.). Used from 1580s for "conceited person." Applied to the young of the fur seal from 1815. Used for "inexperienced person" by 1890. Pup tent (also dog tent) is from 1863. Sopwith pup, popular name of the Sopwith Scout Tractor airplane, is from 1917.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper