- one of any of several breeds of small or medium-sized dogs, usually having a long, silky coat and long, drooping ears.
- a submissive, fawning, or cringing person.
Origin of spaniel
Examples from the Web for spaniel
As one of his friends said of him, he was “either a lion or a spaniel.”Mary Wollstonecraft
Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Eighty miles is too far even for a spaniel to find its way back!The Widow's Dog
Mary Russell Mitford
The spaniel and pug (p. 182) are most liable to bronchocele.
He is not a spaniel that you can beat, and then whistle back again.White Lies
The spaniel John, seeing what lay before him, rolled over on his back.The Country House
Word Origin and History for spaniel
13c., as a surname meaning "Spaniard;" as a name for a breed of dog of Spanish origin, late 14c., from Old French espagneul, literally "Spanish (dog)," from Vulgar Latin *Hispaniolus "of Spain," diminutive of Latin Hispanus "Spanish, Hispanic" (see Spaniard).