What does "dogged" here mean? I have no idea

enter image description here

I tried looking up dogged in a dictionary, and found several meanings, but none of them seemed to make sense in the context of this article:

Having the meaner qualities of a dog; malicious; mean; contemptible; surly.

Having the pertinacity of a dog; silently obstinate; unyielding.

  • This is definition 1 of "dog" as a verb at oxforddictionaries.com: "Follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently". Please realize that this website is for explaining more difficult aspects of English, not for looking things up in the dictionary for you.
    – The Photon
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    If you look up the word and are having trouble applying the definition you found to the context, we can help with that if you explain what you find confusing. This answer on the meta site explains very well what makes up a good quality question: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/a/465/9161
    – ColleenV
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:56
  • I've reopened this question after adding vital research information. (I don't know for sure if this is why you were confused – only you can tell us why you're confused, which is why we have been so dogged about asking you to include research – but I can guess why this word might have been confusing, so I took my best shot.) Incidentally, I believe @apsillers managed to answer your question quite well before it was initially closed, but now that it's been reopened, others will have an opportunity to discuss this word that has dogged you since you first stumbled across it.
    – J.R.
    Jan 6, 2015 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


The verb "dog" has two possible meanings:

  1. dog somebody/something

    (of a problem or bad luck) to cause you trouble for a long time

    Her career was dogged by misfortune.

  2. dog somebody/something

    to follow somebody closely

    She had the impression that someone was dogging her steps.

Since the subject of the sentence is "Disagreements over the timetable," we can safely assume that the first definition applies, since a disagreement is a kind of problem:

Disagreements over the timetable... caused long-term trouble for Mr Obama's relations with...

  • There's more. In Australia, to dog someone, or to be a dog means to be a stool pigeon, i.e., to cooperate with the police. In the U.K. the gerund refers to a sexual practice which may or may not be unique to the British Isles. So it's not just two.
    – user26732
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:51

"Dog" as a verb means to follow someone or something in a persistent and tenacious way. Like, "When I lost my job, bill collectors DOGGED me constantly but I just didn't have the money". Or, "The detective dogged the fugitive until he finally tracked him down."

In this case, issues about the US troop withdrawal were a constant source of trouble between Obama and Karzai.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .