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Denotation vs. Connotation

top dog

noun
1.
a person, group, or nation that has acquired a position of highest authority.
2.
the winner of a competition or rivalry; champion:
He was determined to be top dog at the swimming meet.
3.
Animal Behavior. the alpha male or alpha female in a dominance hierarchy.
Origin of top dog
1885-1900
1885-1900
Related forms
top-dog, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for top dog
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Go back on my hand-shake, just to be top dog and get the bones!

    The Snow-Burner Henry Oyen
  • So you see, the man is the top dog in a case like this, my dear, and he can compel the woman to obey him.

  • Ingolby was wounded and blind, maybe for ever, and women are always with the top dog—that was his theory.

  • Lucilla, as Jeckie well knew, had long been top dog in the Grice menage.

    The Root of All Evil J. S. Fletcher
  • All I know is that we are top dog, and everything will pan out all right in the end.

    Billy Barcroft, R.N.A.S. Percy F. Westerman
British Dictionary definitions for top dog

top dog

noun
1.
(informal) the leader or chief of a group
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for top dog

top banana

noun phrase

  1. The leading or featured comedian in a burlesque show; the chief comic (1950s+ Show business)
  2. The leader, president, manager, etc; boss, big enchilada: refuses its members opportunity to become top banana (1970s+)

[said to have originated fr a burlesque routine having to do with a bunch of bananas]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with top dog

top dog

see: top banana
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for top dog

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for top

5
6
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