- a person, group, or nation that has acquired a position of highest authority.
- the winner of a competition or rivalry; champion: He was determined to be top dog at the swimming meet.
- Animal Behavior. the alpha male or alpha female in a dominance hierarchy.
Origin of top dog
First recorded in 1885–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for top dog
We may love to be top-dog, but we do prefer to get it off our own bat.John Brown
Captain R. W. Campbell
The late under-dog now intended to bite and worry as the top-dog had done.A Son of Perdition
He has always been top-dog—bright, light, strong, unassailable.The Little Lady of the Big House
Carcajou, like a good many other places, commonly favored the top-dog when it came to betting.The Peace of Roaring River
George van Schaick
In the one case, one proves himself top-dog of the mind; in the other, top-dog of the muscle.The Mutiny of the Elsinore
- informal the leader or chief of a group
Idioms and Phrases with top dog
see top banana.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.