a pet dog small and docile enough to be cuddled in the lap
(informal) a person who attaches himself to someone in admiration or infatuation

also lap-dog, 1640s, from lap (n.) + dog (n.); figurative sense of “subservient person” is by 1950.

Senator McCarthy (R-Wis) renewed his Communists-in-Government charges today and called Senator Tydings (D-Md) the Truman administration’s “whimpering lap dog.” [AP news story, Aug. 7, 1950]


A subservient person; eager sycophant: The leading Singapore newspaper, the Straits Times, enthusiastically fills the role of government lapdog/employee committees that labor leaders charge will be lapdogs of management (1980s+)


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