Definition of canine in English:



  • 1Relating to or resembling a dog or dogs.

    ‘canine behavioural problems’
    • ‘Nearly 80 percent of dogs exposed to the virus contract only a mild form of the disease, which mimics kennel cough - a type of canine bronchitis that is rarely serious.’
    • ‘In science, the best one can do is observe the behavior of dogs in natural and controlled settings, and then, on that basis, make testable inferences about canine cognition.’
    • ‘Initially the animals may appear healthy, but most die within days, he said, often from canine illnesses like parvo, distemper, and giardia.’
    • ‘Scientists have completed a rough sketch of the canine genome.’
    • ‘Is a canine version of cognitive behavioural therapy the answer?’
    • ‘More than 100 canine teams are trained each year at the facility.’
    • ‘At the nearby Scott Base, seals are infected with canine distemper, a virus passed to them by researchers' dogs.’
    • ‘But therein might lie one secret of canine intelligence.’
    • ‘Llamas instinctively guard against canine attacks, possibly because their natural herd instincts have wired them to chase off predators.’
    • ‘Rhoda, a racing greyhound, contracted canine influenza in Florida in 2003.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The main cause for the decline of foxes on Santa Catalina Island is the rapid spread of canine distemper, which is transmitted by dogs.’
    • ‘To counter the image, advisors suggested he get a canine companion.’
    • ‘Though researchers are busy working on vaccines for plague and canine distemper, such tools are still a long way off.’
    • ‘Former banker Neil Kittredge, from Alverstoke, is one of the UK's new breed of canine behaviour consultants.’
    • ‘Some of the extra curricular activities include search and rescue, first aid for dogs, as well as lectures on wolf behavior, doggie massage, and canine nutrition.’
    • ‘Hence canine genetic sequences will prove useful for research on, among other things, cancer and autoimmune disorders.’
    • ‘There's no need for participating animals to be specially skilled - but if you think you know a canine genius or feline mastermind, now's the time to prove it.’
    • ‘A canine team can also examine 400 to 500 packages in about 30 minutes, a fraction of the time a human inspection would consume.’
    • ‘They include dog massage, canine anatomy, behavioural science and dog psychology.’
    1. 1.1Zoology Relating to animals of the dog family.
      ‘related canine species’
      • ‘The bands mark several genes that were mapped in both the human and 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.’
      • ‘Normal canine prostate was used as the animal model.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shawn went on to say that he always envied the animals of the canine family for having this ability.’


  • 1A dog.

    ‘the majority agreed with neutering stray canines’
    • ‘The title Wolf alludes to Wolfgang as well as to feral canines: the dog pack is a counterpart to the human pack.’
    • ‘Pedigree or mongrel, the canines dislike it when their owners show affection for other dogs.’
    • ‘Scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.’
    • ‘The chief has puffed eyes and dark under-eye circles, thanks to ceaseless barking by stray canines in the vicinity of the Thackeray residence.’
    • ‘As the name suggests, these canines hunt by sight rather than scent.’
    • ‘The digital dog collar allows dog owners to record the activity of their canines and to monitor when and where their ‘pals’ are walking.’
    • ‘Late last January, several chemical-detection canines began work in the field alongside their handlers.’
    • ‘These highly trained canines also make recovery efforts go faster.’
    • ‘It's a mongrel canine bred to kill rats and to keep foxes trapped in their lairs until the hounds arrive for the kill.’
    • ‘They're search-and-rescue dogs - working canines from a wide mix of breeds.’
    • ‘This case illustrates that infection with C canimorsus may be seen after even casual exposure to a pet canine, with ominous results.’
    • ‘The canines' handlers sit nearby to help facilitate the interaction.’
    • ‘Generations of East Texans had hunted deer with dogs, depending on the howling canines to roust deer from the region's thickets.’
    • ‘At Lackland, canines are also trained for drug detection.’
    • ‘If Scroffles the mangy mutt could turn into the beautiful Sam, then there really is hope for all the stray canines.’
    • ‘From dawn until dusk, there are dozens of things for humans and canines to do together: sports, games, lectures, contests, and crafts.’
    • ‘Among these gainfully employed canines, there's a range of occupations, from seeing-eye and guard dogs to sheep herders and hunting dogs.’
    • ‘But contrary to popular belief, he said, the canines don't devour large amounts of garbage or vast numbers of family pets.’
    • ‘As every dog-lover knows, canines can sense a meal a mile away.’
    • ‘Unveiling plans to rid the city of stray canines, the Governor has urged city residents to eat more dog meat.’
    hound, mongrel, cur, tyke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Zoology An animal of the dog family.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ulcers developed in rats and canines when 150 mm Hg pressure was applied for nine hours or 500 mm Hg pressure was applied for two hours.’
      • ‘Like vampires, they had sharp teeth of all canines, meant for ripping and tearing, but unlike the vampires, they had two fangs that curved down over their lower lips.’
      • ‘The canines are good swimmers, and they have even colonized offshore islands, such as the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts.’
      • ‘No, it was not a dog's head but probably of one of the wild canines; a wolf or perhaps a jackal.’
  • 2A pointed tooth between the incisors and premolars of a mammal, often greatly enlarged in carnivores.

    ‘most primates use their canine teeth for fighting’
    • ‘As in rodents, canines are absent and a large space separates the incisors and the first cheek tooth.’
    • ‘The canines all appear within one day after birth.’
    • ‘Unlike the large cats that have two enlarged canines, marsupial lions had enlarged incisors that were used to stab prey.’
    • ‘Each jaw has four incisors, two canines, and four molars.’
    • ‘The labial area of incisors was calculated from these measures as an approximating rectangle, and the labial area of canines as an approximating right triangle.’
    • ‘The canines, which are present in both upper and lower jaws, are medium-sized and hooked.’
    • ‘The canines have a sharp bend and fit into a groove on an expanded process on the lower jaw: a feature seen in other sabertooths but not in Smilodon.’
    • ‘The presence of extremely large upper canines in an herbivorous kangaroo is a unexpected example of evolutionary convergence with Tertiary and even extant ungulates.’
    • ‘As in all rodents, one upper and one lower incisor are always found on each side of the jaw, and canines are always absent.’
    • ‘Our teeth include incisors and canines designed for tearing flesh.’
    • ‘In Haptodus the canines are not sharply set off from the other dentition.’
    • ‘On the left side, the sockets from the first and second incisors, the canine, and the two premolars are visible.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most interesting feature of the teeth is the marked wear on the lingual surfaces of the canines and incisors.’
    • ‘Peramelemorphs have well-developed canines, 3 upper and 3 lower premolars, and 4 upper and 4 lower molars.’
    • ‘These animals, the equivalent of the sabre-toothed cat of the Cenozoic era, used their enormous canines to bring down the ox - sized pareiasaurs.’
    • ‘As well as having large canines for dealing with bigger prey, their cheek teeth are serrated, which enables them to strain krill from the water.’
    • ‘The upper canines grow out and backward into large, curved tusks; wear between the upper and lower canines produces sharp edges.’
    • ‘Many wrasses are specialized and voracious feeders, as reflected by the highly variable skull and body shape, modified pharyngeal jaw, and prominent canines.’
    • ‘Armadillos lack canines, and most have no incisors.’
    • ‘Behind the canines are the premolars, or bicuspids.’


Late Middle English (in canine (sense 2 of the noun)): from French, from Latin caninus, from canis ‘dog’.