See also: dogeared and dog eared

English edit

Etymology edit

A book with a dog-eared page (sense 1).

From dog +‎ eared (having ears (of a specified type)), modelled after dog’s-ear (obsolete), due to the similarity of their appearance to the folded ears of certain dogs.[1] The word is analysable as dog-ear (to fold the corner of a book’s page) +‎ -ed (suffix forming possessional adjectives) (dog-ear is attested in print later than dog-eared).[1]

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

dog-eared (comparative more dog-eared, superlative most dog-eared)

  1. Of a page in a book or other publication: having its corner folded down, either due to having been read many times, or intentionally as a sort of bookmark.
    By thumbing to the dog-eared pages, she quickly found the items in the catalog she wanted to order.
    The pages in his favourite book were dog-eared from years of reading it at bedtime.
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter 10, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, London, New York, N.Y., Melbourne, Vic.: Ward Lock & Co., →OCLC:
      There was the huge Italian cassone, with its fantastically painted panels and its tarnished gilt mouldings, in which he had so often hidden himself as a boy. There the satinwood book-case filled with his dog-eared schoolbooks.
    • 1921, Thomas Sigismund Stribling, “Chapter IV”, in Birthrigt:
      To the uninitiated it may seem strange to behold a Harvard graduate stuck down day after day poring over a pile of dog-eared school-books— third arithmetics, primary grammars, beginners' histories of Tennessee, of the United States, of England; physiology, hygiene. It may seem queer. But when it comes to standing a Wayne County teacher's examination, the specific answers to the specific questions on a dozen old examination slips are worth all the degrees Harvard ever did confer.
    • 2002 September 19, Stephen Moss, “Don’t spare the horses – riders set off for hunt rally”, in Alan Rusbridger, editor, The Guardian[1], London: Guardian News & Media, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 9 September 2014:
      Dog-eared tomes litter his sitting room, filled with lovely names – Sailor, Scandal, Saucebox, Starlight, Siren, to take a few from a random page of the directory for 1875.
  2. (figuratively) Ragged, worn-out; also, hackneyed, tired.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:deteriorated, Thesaurus:hackneyed
    Antonyms: fresh, original; see also Thesaurus:new
    • 1919, Francis Ledwidge, The Complete Poems of Francis Ledwidge, An Old Pain:
      This is the old, old pain come home once more,
      Bent down with answers wild and very lame
      For all my delving in old dog-eared lore
      That drove the Sages mad. And boots the world
      Aught for their wisdom?

Alternative forms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 dog-eared, adj.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “dog-eared, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading edit