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
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    1. 1.1Used as a symbol of devotion or obsequiousness.
      [as modifier] ‘oh stop looking at me with those spaniel eyes’


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