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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj hangdog frightened into submission or compliance
    • adj hangdog showing a sense of guilt "a guilty look","the hangdog and shamefaced air of the retreating enemy"- Eric Linklater"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Hangdog A base, degraded person; a sneak; a gallows bird.
    • a Hangdog Low; sneaking; ashamed. "The poor colonel went out of the room with a hangdog look."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n hangdog A degraded and sneaking fellow, fit only to be a hangman of dogs.
    • hangdog Of or pertaining to such a person; having a base or sneaking appearance: as, a hangdog look or gait.
    • ***


Hangdog expression - A hangdog expression is one where the person's showing their emotions very clearly, maybe a little too clearly for your liking. It's that mixture of misery and self-pity that is similar to a dog when it's trying to get something it wants but daren't take without permission.


In literature:

Look a little brisker, man, and not so hangdog like!
"The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby" by Charles Dickens
After all, it was quite likely; she remembered such things, and then that Marechal had a dirty, hangdog look.
"Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille" by Emile Zola
The stowaway's face showed some embarrassment, but not at all the usual hangdog mien of such wastrels.
"Where the Blue Begins" by Christopher Morley
David had shrunk back into the corner, with a white hangdog look, and said nothing.
"The History of David Grieve" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
There was no lowering of the eyelids when they confessed; no hangdog look about the mouth.
"The Underdog" by F. Hopkinson Smith
Something in his hangdog look warned Miss Beekman that she was being betrayed, but before she could answer Mr. Tutt was on his feet.
"By Advice of Counsel" by Arthur Train
If ever I saw two mortified, hangdog-looking men, they were these two as they took their way home.
"A Confederate Girl's Diary" by Sarah Margan Dawson
See those hangdog-looking fellows slouching before us?
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
They say he couldn't look such a miserable, hangdog wretch for nothing.
"A Sheaf of Corn" by Mary E. Mann
I don't want to be knifed by a set o' hangdog rubbish from all parts o' the world.
"Hunting the Skipper" by George Manville Fenn
He was a loose-limbed, swarthy, slouching giant with a hangdog look.
"Tales from Dickens" by Charles Dickens and Hallie Erminie Rives
Edward slouched up alongside of me presently, with a hangdog look on him, as if he had been caught stealing jam.
"The Golden Age" by Kenneth Grahame
He was looking hangdog.
"Makers" by Cory Doctorow
I told him he'd have to prove it, and he went off with a hangdog look on him.
"The Hills of Refuge" by Will N. Harben
All this would have formed an attractive whole, had it not been spoiled by a pronounced hangdog air.
"Frédérique; vol. 1" by Charles Paul de Kock
He was one of those little insignificant hangdog things with vacant eyes.
"Hooded Detective, Volume III No. 2, January, 1942" by Various
It was no part of Marguerite's scheme to enroll D'Orsay and herself among these hangdog exiles.
"Superwomen" by Albert Payson Terhune
I couldn't blame them; I guess I had a sort of pasty face and hangdog look.
"Kentucky in American Letters, v. 2 of 2" by John Wilson Townsend
Many of them had a hangdog expression.
"Frank Merriwell's Triumph" by Burt L. Standish
I myself began to feel that I had a haunted, hangdog sort of air.
"The Woman with One Hand (and) Mr. Ely's Engagement" by Richard Marsh

In news:

Costumed by his mother as a hot dog with bun, Oscar the dachshund goes from hangdog to top dog in what PW's starred review called a ""pun-o-rama.
FX's 'Wilfred's' bite is worse than his snark, but hangdog 'Louie' is sublime.
We miss your deadpan humor, your hangdog demeanor, your blank stares.
" Wreck -It Ralph's" Ralph is voiced with hangdog perfection by John C Reilly.