- 1 [countable] an animal with four legs and a tail, often kept as a pet or trained for work, for example hunting or guarding buildings. There are many types of dog, some of which are wild. I took the dog for a walk. I could hear a dog barking. dog food guard dogs a dog and her puppies see also guide dog, gun dog, hearing dog, lapdog, prairie dog, sheepdog, sniffer dog, tracker dog See related entries: Pets, Domesticated mammals
- 2 [countable] a male dog, fox or wolf compare bitch See related entries: Domesticated mammals
- 3the dogs [plural] (British English, informal) greyhound racing
- 4[countable] (informal, especially North American English) a thing of low quality; a failure Her last movie was an absolute dog.
- 5[countable] (informal) an offensive way of describing a woman who is not considered attractive See related entries: Attractiveness
- 6[countable] (informal, disapproving) used, especially after an adjective, to describe a man who has done something bad You dirty dog! see also hot dog, shaggy-dog story, top dog, watchdog Word Origin Old English docga, of unknown origin.Extra examples A dog that savaged a five-year-old child was later destroyed, police have confirmed. A dog was gnawing at an old bone. A dog was sniffing around my heels. Bad dog! What are you doing there? He looked at me with puppy-dog eyes. He’s trained his dog to sit on the back of his bike. I’m just going to walk the dog. Owners who allow their dogs to foul the footpath will be fined. Races have been held at this dog track for seventy years. Rex was a champion show dog. Sniffer dogs were used to find the drugs. Stray dogs roamed the streets at night. The dog barked loudly at the stranger. The dog bounded up to me and started licking my hand. The dog chewed up one of my shoes. The dog warden rounds up stray dogs and takes them to the pound until claimed. The dog was scratching at the door to be let in. The dog went for him and bit him twice on the leg. The dog’s owner was banned from keeping dogs for five years. The dog’s owner was fined £500 and banned from keeping dogs for five years. The labrador is being trained to be a guide dog for the blind. The lady was kissing a little lap dog. The little dogs were yapping at my ankles. The stray dogs are wormed and treated with flea powder. The team wanted to prove that they were top dogs in the region. These dogs have been bred to work as guide dogs for the blind. These dogs were bred to hunt small animals. We didn’t want puppies so we had the dog neutered. We recently had to put our dog to sleep. election lawyers who are mean as junkyard dogsIdioms (informal) to be raining heavily (North American English, informal, disapproving) an event that is planned only in order to impress people so that they will support or buy something the dog and pony show of his visits to the war zone a dog and pony show to sell the idea to investors a situation in business, politics, etc. where there is a lot of competition and people are willing to harm each other in order to succeed I'm afraid in this line of work it's a case of dog eat dog. We're operating in a dog-eat-dog world. a person who stops other people from enjoying what he or she cannot use or does not want (British English, informal) a thing that has been done badly synonym mess He's made a real dog's breakfast of these accounts. an unhappy life, full of problems or unfair treatment He led poor Amy a dog’s life. She was desperately lonely, poor dear. (saying) everyone has good luck or success at some point in their life (saying) when a person already has a bad reputation, it is difficult to change it because others will continue to blame or suspect him/her
(informal) to get into a very bad state This firm's gone to the dogs since the new management took over. (informal) alcohol that you drink in order to make you feel better when you have drunk too much alcohol the night before (saying) to avoid mentioning a subject or something that happened in the past, in order to avoid any problems or arguments to have no chance at all He hasn't a dog's chance of passing the exam. (informal) feeling very ill/sick; vomiting a lot used to describe a situation in which the most important aspect is being influenced and controlled by somebody/something that is not as important (saying) (you cannot) successfully make people change their ideas, methods of work, etc., when they have had them for a long time (informal, saying) if somebody can do a task for you, there is no point in doing it yourself