1 a domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, and a barking, howling, or whining voice. It is widely kept as a pet or for work or field sports. • Canis familiaris, family Canidae (the dog family); probably domesticated from the wolf in the Mesolithic period. The dog family also includes the wolves, coyotes, jackals, and foxes.
• a wild animal of the dog family.
• the male of an animal of the dog family, or of some other mammals such as the otter : [as adj. ] a dog fox.
• (in extended and metaphorical use) referring to behavior considered to be savage, dangerous, or wildly energetic : he bit into the chop voraciously, like a dog.
2 [often with adj. ] informal a person regarded as unpleasant, contemptible, or wicked (used as a term of abuse) : come out, Michael, you dog!
• [with adj. ] dated used to refer to a person of a specified kind in a tone of playful reproof, commiseration, or congratulation : you lucky dog!
• used in various phrases to refer to someone who is abject or miserable, esp. because they have been treated harshly : I make him work like a dog | Rob was treated like a dog.
• informal derogatory a woman regarded as unattractive.
• informal a thing of poor quality; a failure : a dog of a movie.
3 short for firedog .
4 a mechanical device for gripping.
5 ( dogs) informal feet : if only I could sit down and rest my tired dogs.
verb ( dogged , dogging ) [ trans. ]
1 follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently : photographers seemed to dog her every step.
• (of a problem) cause continual trouble for : their finance committee has been dogged by controversy.
2 ( dog it) informal act lazily; fail to try one's hardest.
3 grip (something) with a mechanical device : [ trans. ] she has dogged the door shut.