• synonyms


noun, plural pup·pies.
  1. a young dog, especially one less than a year old.
  2. Fox Hunting. a foxhound that has hunted regularly for less than one season.
  3. pup(def 2).
  4. a presuming, conceited, or empty-headed young man.
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Origin of puppy

1480–90; earlier popi. See puppet, -y2
Related formspup·py·hood, pup·py·dom, nounpup·py·ish, adjectivepup·py·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for puppyish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The genial, playful, puppyish side of him found little expression.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • At last he found the flesh; and a puppyish snarl rose in his throat.


    James Oliver Curwood

  • Duckfoot, who'd shed most of his puppyish ways, crawled disconsolately into his sleeping box.

    The Duck-footed Hound

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Craft and cunning replaced mere curiosity and puppyish egoism.

    The Country Beyond

    James Oliver Curwood

British Dictionary definitions for puppyish


noun plural -pies
  1. a young dog; pup
  2. informal, derogatory a brash or conceited young man; pup
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Derived Formspuppyhood, nounpuppyish, adjective

Word Origin

C15 popi, from Old French popée doll; compare puppet
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 puppyish


1775, from puppy + -ish.

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late 15c., "woman's small pet dog," of uncertain origin but likely from Middle French poupée "doll, toy" (see puppet). Meaning shifted from "toy dog" to "young dog" (1590s), replacing Middle English whelp. In early use in English puppet and puppy were not always distinct from each other. Also used about that time in sense of "vain young man." Puppy-dog first attested 1590s (in Shakespeare, puppi-dogges). Puppy love is from 1823. Puppy fat is from 1937.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper