Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


relating to dogs

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The adjective and noun canine come from the Latin adjective ‘caninus’, derived from the word for dog, ‘canis’. The noun was first used in English in the 19th century, two centuries after the adjective.


Canine means relating to dogs and a canine is a dog. A canine tooth is one of the four pointed teeth possessed by humans and many animals, located between the incisors at the front of the mouth and the molars at the back. Canine teeth are also called canines. As is often the case with words of Latin origin, canine when used to refer to dogs is somewhat formal and is labelled as such in Macmillan Dictionary. The recent update of the dictionary saw the addition of many breeds of dog, from Airedale to Weimeraner. If you are a fan of pooches you can explore the entries, many of them with illustrations, here. At the end of the thesaurus entry you will find links to related entries about all things doggy.


Understanding how important it was to have a pooch in his life, Pace’s family quickly found him a new canine companion – a miniature schnauzer named Marti.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

The Town of Avon reminds citizens and guests to be responsible dog owners by keeping canines leashed and picking up after them.
(enTenTen15 corpus)

Related words

bovine, equine, feline, leonine

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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