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  • enPR: pŭg, IPA(key): /pʌɡ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌɡ

Etymology 1[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

portrait of a pug


pug (plural pugs)

  1. A small dog of an ancient breed originating in China, having a snub nose, wrinkled face, squarish body, short smooth hair, and curled tail. [from the 18th c]
    Synonyms: Chinese pug, Dutch bulldog, Dutch mastiff, mini mastiff, mops, carlin, pugdog
  2. A bargeman. [from the 16th c]
  3. (obsolete) chaff; the refuse of grain
    • 1601, Philemon Holland, The Historie of the World, commonly called the Naturall Historie (originally by Pliny the Elder)
      rotten chaffe or pugs, and such like plain mullock
  4. Any geometrid moth of the genus Eupithecia.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Corruption of puck, from Old English pūca (goblin, demon). Compare Icelandic púki (demon) and Welsh pwca (hobgoblin).


pug (plural pugs)

  1. (obsolete) An elf or hobgoblin.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)
  2. An upper servant in a great house. [from the 19th c]
  3. A harlot; a prostitute. [circa 1600]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Cotgrave to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

Abbreviation of pugilist, from Latin pugil.


pug (plural pugs)

  1. (informal) One who fights with fists; a boxer.
    • 1988, Ken Blady, The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame (page 226)
      He never trained for his characters either: with his slurred speech and disfigured mug he usually portrayed a punch-drunk ex-pug or comic tough guy, roles in which he was a natural.

Etymology 4[edit]

Compare German pucken (to thump, beat).


pug (countable and uncountable, plural pugs)

  1. Any compressed clay-like material mixed and worked into a soft, plastic condition for making bricks, pottery or for paving. (Also pug soil)
  2. A pug mill.


pug (third-person singular simple present pugs, present participle pugging, simple past and past participle pugged)

  1. (transitive) To mix and stir when wet.
    to pug clay for bricks or pottery
  2. (transitive) To fill or stop with clay by tamping; to fill in or spread with mortar, as a floor or partition, for the purpose of deadening sound.

Etymology 5[edit]

From Hindi पग (pag, step, foot), related to Sanskrit पद्य (padya, foot) and Greek πόδι (pódi, foot).


pug (plural pugs)

  1. The pawprint or footprint of an animal

Etymology 6[edit]

Probably related to puck.


pug (plural pugs)

  1. (obsolete) A term of endearment. [from the 16th c]





pug (nominative plural pugs)

  1. slaughter, slaughtering
  2. butchery, butchering


Related terms[edit]