Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


a type of small dog with very short legs, a long body, and long ears

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun dachshund is a German word meaning ‘badger dog’; the breed got its name because it was used in the past in badger hunting. Dachshund was first used in English in the mid 19th century.


The dachshund owes its long slender body and short legs to its past as a hunting dog, used to flush badgers from their setts. Badger hunting has been illegal in the UK since 1973, and it is also illegal to disturb the setts where they live. Badgers have, however, controversially been culled in recent years because of their alleged role in spreading a form of tuberculosis that affects cattle. Dachshunds are familiarly called sausage dogs, because of their elongated body shape. You can see photos of both adult and puppy dachshunds at the Macmillan Dictionary entry, just two of many images that were added as part of our recent update.


He couldn’t have moved quicker if he had been the dachshund Poppet, who at this juncture was running round in circles, trying, if I read his thoughts aright, to work off the rather heavy lunch he had had earlier in the afternoon.
(P G Wodehouse, How Right You Are, Jeeves)

Related words

basset, beagle, fox terrier, pointer, retriever

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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