Definition of canine in English:



  • 1Relating to or resembling a dog or dogs.

    ‘canine behavioural problems’
    • ‘Is a canine version of cognitive behavioural therapy the answer?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Initially the animals may appear healthy, but most die within days, he said, often from canine illnesses like parvo, distemper, and giardia.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They include dog massage, canine anatomy, behavioural science and dog psychology.’
    • ‘Rhoda, a racing greyhound, contracted canine influenza in Florida in 2003.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though researchers are busy working on vaccines for plague and canine distemper, such tools are still a long way off.’
    • ‘A canine team can also examine 400 to 500 packages in about 30 minutes, a fraction of the time a human inspection would consume.’
    • ‘Hence canine genetic sequences will prove useful for research on, among other things, cancer and autoimmune disorders.’
    • ‘Former banker Neil Kittredge, from Alverstoke, is one of the UK's new breed of canine behaviour consultants.’
    • ‘Scientists have completed a rough sketch of the canine genome.’
    • ‘To counter the image, advisors suggested he get a canine companion.’
    • ‘Llamas instinctively guard against canine attacks, possibly because their natural herd instincts have wired them to chase off predators.’
    • ‘The main cause for the decline of foxes on Santa Catalina Island is the rapid spread of canine distemper, which is transmitted by dogs.’
    • ‘But therein might lie one secret of canine intelligence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Zoology Relating to animals of the dog family.
      ‘related canine species’
      • ‘Normal canine prostate was used as the animal model.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


  • 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.’
    • ‘Generations of East Texans had hunted deer with dogs, depending on the howling canines to roust deer from the region's thickets.’
    • ‘The digital dog collar allows dog owners to record the activity of their canines and to monitor when and where their ‘pals’ are walking.’
    • ‘Pedigree or mongrel, the canines dislike it when their owners show affection for other dogs.’
    • ‘But contrary to popular belief, he said, the canines don't devour large amounts of garbage or vast numbers of family pets.’
    • ‘Late last January, several chemical-detection canines began work in the field alongside their handlers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the name suggests, these canines hunt by sight rather than scent.’
    • ‘The chief has puffed eyes and dark under-eye circles, thanks to ceaseless barking by stray canines in the vicinity of the Thackeray residence.’
    • ‘If Scroffles the mangy mutt could turn into the beautiful Sam, then there really is hope for all the stray canines.’
    • ‘It's a mongrel canine bred to kill rats and to keep foxes trapped in their lairs until the hounds arrive for the kill.’
    • ‘From dawn until dusk, there are dozens of things for humans and canines to do together: sports, games, lectures, contests, and crafts.’
    • ‘Unveiling plans to rid the city of stray canines, the Governor has urged city residents to eat more dog meat.’
    • ‘These highly trained canines also make recovery efforts go faster.’
    • ‘As every dog-lover knows, canines can sense a meal a mile away.’
    • ‘At Lackland, canines are also trained for drug detection.’
    • ‘Among these gainfully employed canines, there's a range of occupations, from seeing-eye and guard dogs to sheep herders and hunting dogs.’
    • ‘They're search-and-rescue dogs - working canines from a wide mix of breeds.’
    • ‘Scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.’
    hound, mongrel, cur, tyke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Zoology An animal of the dog family.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most interesting feature of the teeth is the marked wear on the lingual surfaces of the canines and incisors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Peramelemorphs have well-developed canines, 3 upper and 3 lower premolars, and 4 upper and 4 lower molars.’
    • ‘On the left side, the sockets from the first and second incisors, the canine, and the two premolars are visible.’
    • ‘Armadillos lack canines, and most have no incisors.’
    • ‘Unlike the large cats that have two enlarged canines, marsupial lions had enlarged incisors that were used to stab prey.’
    • ‘Many wrasses are specialized and voracious feeders, as reflected by the highly variable skull and body shape, modified pharyngeal jaw, and prominent canines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These animals, the equivalent of the sabre-toothed cat of the Cenozoic era, used their enormous canines to bring down the ox - sized pareiasaurs.’
    • ‘Each jaw has four incisors, two canines, and four molars.’
    • ‘The canines, which are present in both upper and lower jaws, are medium-sized and hooked.’
    • ‘In Haptodus the canines are not sharply set off from the other dentition.’
    • ‘Behind the canines are the premolars, or bicuspids.’
    • ‘The upper canines grow out and backward into large, curved tusks; wear between the upper and lower canines produces sharp edges.’
    • ‘The presence of extremely large upper canines in an herbivorous kangaroo is a unexpected example of evolutionary convergence with Tertiary and even extant ungulates.’
    • ‘The canines all appear within one day after birth.’
    • ‘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 labial area of incisors was calculated from these measures as an approximating rectangle, and the labial area of canines as an approximating right triangle.’


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