Definition of canine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkāˌnīn/


1Relating to or resembling a dog or dogs: canine distemper virus
More example sentences
  • At the nearby Scott Base, seals are infected with canine distemper, a virus passed to them by researchers' dogs.
  • Vets are advising owners of unvaccinated puppies in particular to be on their guard for the parvo virus, or canine distemper, which can kill dogs in a matter of days.
  • Though researchers are busy working on vaccines for plague and canine distemper, such tools are still a long way off.
1.1 Zoology Relating to animals of the dog family.
Example sentences
  • Shawn went on to say that he always envied the animals of the canine family for having this ability.
  • It will then be compared to small amounts of sequence from 10 to 20 other breeds, including the beagle, to study genetic variation within the canine species.
  • The swift fox is a member of the canine family and can be distinguished from other foxes by its small size (the size of a house cat), the black spot on each side of its nose, and its tipped black tail.


1A dog.
Example sentences
  • The chief has puffed eyes and dark under-eye circles, thanks to ceaseless barking by stray canines in the vicinity of the Thackeray residence.
  • Unveiling plans to rid the city of stray canines, the Governor has urged city residents to eat more dog meat.
  • If Scroffles the mangy mutt could turn into the beautiful Sam, then there really is hope for all the stray canines.
1.1 Zoology another term for canid.
Example sentences
  • No, it was not a dog's head but probably of one of the wild canines; a wolf or perhaps a jackal.
  • The owls were picked from the birds of prey, wolves from canines, dolphins from sea mammals.
  • The rust-colored canine, closely related to the gray wolf, lives in small, social packs that meet three times a day and occupy territories that span just a few miles.
2 (also canine tooth) A pointed tooth between the incisors and premolars of a mammal, often greatly enlarged in carnivores.
Example sentences
  • Each jaw has four incisors, two canines, and four molars.
  • Our teeth include incisors and canines designed for tearing flesh.
  • Behind the canines are the premolars, or bicuspids.


Late Middle English (sense 2 of the noun): from French, from Latin caninus, from canis 'dog'.

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