View synonyms for top dog

top dog


  1. a person, group, or nation that has acquired a position of highest authority.
  2. the winner of a competition or rivalry; champion:

    He was determined to be top dog at the swimming meet.

  3. Animal Behavior. the alpha male or alpha female in a dominance hierarchy.

top dog


  1. informal.
    the leader or chief of a group
“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

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Other Words From

  • top-dog adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of top dog1

First recorded in 1885–1900
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Idioms and Phrases

see top banana .
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Example Sentences

Reinforce your pup’s positive behavior with these top dog treats.

If you spend unending hours on trains and planes, or around coworkers that chew loudly during lunch, investing in the top dog noise cancelling might be worth it for you.

In fact, becoming top dog is so fraught that many observers suspect that Colin Huang—founder of e-commerce firm Pinduoduo—purposely divested company stock last year to avoid becoming the country’s wealthiest individual.

From Time

It’s good to the be the top dog at Coinbase—better than it is to be the chief of JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs, if CEO Brian Armstrong’s total pay is anything to go by.

From Quartz

READ MORE ON OZYThese trends will determine whether China emerges as the world’s top dog.

From Ozy

In any event, for the Kudo-kai, the police arrest of their top dog is expected to have the impact of a well-thrown hand grenade.

If Ben Affleck is the top dog at the rear of the party, Taylor Swift is the center of attention at the front of it.

Not of a top dog, as This Morning remains comfortably in third, but one that says to those other guys, “We are coming for you.”

Google could spend less on development, and still maintain its position as top dog.

But his immediate task is to reassure his supporters that he is still top dog.

Go back on my hand-shake, just to be top dog and get the bones!

They were not weakly addicted to half measures in those days, whichever side was "top dog."

And Ive got the best grey matter in this camp, and Im going to be top dog as a matter of course.

If youd had a mind superior to Moirs youd be top dog here, with Moir fetching bones for you.

She wondered if they met, who would come out top-dog; so she phrased it in her quick brain.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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