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top dog

a person, group, or nation that has acquired a position of highest authority.
the winner of a competition or rivalry; champion:
He was determined to be top dog at the swimming meet.
Animal Behavior. the alpha male or alpha female in a dominance hierarchy.
Origin of top dog
Related forms
top-dog, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for top-dog
Historical Examples
  • Carcajou, like a good many other places, commonly favored the top-dog when it came to betting.

    The Peace of Roaring River George van Schaick
  • We may love to be top-dog, but we do prefer to get it off our own bat.

    John Brown Captain R. W. Campbell
  • In the one case, one proves himself top-dog of the mind; in the other, top-dog of the muscle.

  • The late under-dog now intended to bite and worry as the top-dog had done.

    A Son of Perdition Fergus Hume
  • He has always been top-dog—­bright, light, strong, unassailable.

  • top-dog—a pity that this superiority must be for ever kept secret, when one considered how he would be annoyed at the information.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • The top-dog spirit was fast oozing out of me, and I sat there sourly dusting the skirts of my poor country-tailor-made coat.

    The Yeoman Adventurer George W. Gough
  • She landed boats' crews from time to time just to show that she was top-dog, without their even being fired upon.

British Dictionary definitions for top-dog

top dog

(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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