Some people have purebred dogs, but you might have a mongrel — a mutt that is part this, part that, and part the other thing (but to you he's a 100 percent dog and your best friend).

Mongrel has the Middle English root word mong, which meant "mix." If you use the word mongrel to refer to the mixed ancestry of a dog or other animal, you may or may not intend to be insulting. If you refer to a human as a mongrel, you are definitely making a pejorative comment about that person's origins. In this use, it is considered an insult.

Definitions of mongrel

n derogatory term for a variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin

Type of:
an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard

n an inferior dog or one of mixed breed

cur, mutt
feist, fice
a nervous belligerent little mongrel dog
pariah dog, pie-dog, pye-dog
ownerless half-wild mongrel dog common around Asian villages especially India
Type of:
Canis familiaris, dog, domestic dog
a member of the genus Canis (probably descended from the common wolf) that has been domesticated by man since prehistoric times; occurs in many breeds

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.