What’s the meaning of “lapdog”?

What’s the meaning of lapdog in this context?

Cablegate revealed that some countries cooperated with the U.S. more
than others, for example. Sweden played lapdog. Austria annoyed the
U.S. etc.

I looked up lapdog in the Longman dictionary but couldn’t find it. Is it a newly coined word?


A lap-dog is a dog small enough to sit on someone’s lap. It’s been around for more than 500 years. Used figuratively in your example, it suggests that Sweden is a small pet belonging to the United States and that it will not act aggressively against its owner.

Source : Link , Question Author : B Faley , Answer Author : Barrie England

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