1. (Science: zoology) One of a breed of small dogs having long and thick hair and large drooping ears. The legs are usually strongly feathered, and the tail bushy
There are several varieties of spaniels, some of which, known as field spaniels, are used in hunting; others are used for toy or pet dogs, as the Blenheim spaniel, and the king Charles spaniel (see under Blenheim). Of the field spaniels, the larger kinds are called springers, and to these belong the Sussex, Norfolk, and Clumber spaniels (see Clumber). The smaller field spaniels, used in hunting woodcock, are called cocker spaniels (see Cocker). Field spaniels are remarkable for their activity and intelligence. As a spaniel she will on him leap. (Chaucer)
2. A cringing, fawning person.
Origin: OF. Espagneul, F. Epagneul, espagnol Spanish, Sp. Espannol, fr. Espana Spain, from L. Hispania.