Definition of puppy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpəpē/

noun (plural puppies)

1A young dog.
Example sentences
  • National charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, which has a training centre at Cliffe, near Selby, is appealing for volunteers to take in puppies and young dogs for anything up to six weeks.
  • Gates are optional, but if you have a puppy or a young dog, you will probably find them useful.
  • In her favour she's young, still a puppy in many ways, and an outdoor dog more than happy to run about in the rain for hours on end, so her constitution is strong.
1.1 informal, dated A conceited or arrogant young man: you ungrateful puppy
1.2 informal, chiefly North American A person or thing of a specified kind: patient bargain hunters can often find these puppies gathering dust at garage sales



Pronunciation: /-ˌho͝od/
Example sentences
  • Brandy, both deaf and arthritic, had been taught since puppyhood to address her bodily function on newspapers spread over a protective layer of plastic in strategic spots in the house.
  • This makes a change from Millie's recent revival of her hobby from early puppyhood, of bringing in pieces of bark from the garden and walking in and out of rooms while chewing and shedding broken pieces.
  • It's the life story of a guide-dog named Quill who we follow from puppyhood to retirement getting to see the mark he leaves behind on those he helps along the way.


Pronunciation: /ˈpəpēiSH/
Example sentences
  • A self-described mama's boy, he combines a puppyish playfulness with an obsessive work ethic and a hardheaded understanding of the business of triathlon.
  • Evans starts his new Radio 2 show this weekend, with puppyish excitement and goodwill bursting from all sides.
  • My love for it is currently more like a puppyish affection.


Late 15th century (denoting a lapdog): perhaps from Old French poupee 'doll, plaything'; compare with puppet, synonymous with dialect puppy (as in puppy-show 'puppet show').

  • pup from mid 16th century:

    The word pup is a shortening of puppy (Late Middle English), from Old French poupee ‘doll, plaything’, which is related to poppet (Late Middle English) and puppet (mid 16th century). To sell someone a pup is to swindle them, especially by selling them something that is worth far less than they expect. This dates from the early 20th century and was presumably based on the idea of dishonestly selling someone a young and inexperienced dog when they were expecting an older, trained animal.

Words that rhyme with puppy

duppy, guppy, yuppie

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pup·py

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