Definition of spaniel in English:



  • 1A dog of a breed with a long silky coat and drooping ears.

    • ‘In the Middle Ages, a type of spaniel was bred, the ancestor of some of our modern spaniels, that would naturally crouch when it located game.’
    • ‘The feet should be examined daily, especially the hairy types of dog such as spaniels, for the presence of thorns.’
    • ‘Surely a pug is no match for the loyalty of a spaniel?’
    • ‘At night, Timothy's dog, a black and white spaniel, sits by the front door, waiting.’
    • ‘One day he took me for a walk with Miko, one of his dogs, an ancient milky-eyed spaniel.’
    • ‘I have also seen under-exercised dogs, spaniels in particular, lie around in a depressed and emotionally blackmailing way, glancing with sad brown eyes out of the window until you give in and throw yourself into a gale force 9.’
    • ‘The spaniel's hunting talents quickly made the dog a favorite in England.’
    minion, lackey, hireling, subordinate, underling, servant, retainer, vassal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Used as a symbol of devotion or obsequiousness.
      [as modifier] ‘oh stop looking at me with those spaniel eyes’
      sycophant, toady, lackey, flunkey, minion, stooge, kowtower, truckler, groveller, crawler, creep, fawner, flatterer, lickspittle, uriah heep, puppet, cat's paw, instrument, pawn, underling, hanger-on, camp follower, doormat, spaniel
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French espaigneul Spanish (dog), from Latin Hispaniolus Spanish.