Bite the dust


      • to be defeated or killed in battle or competition
        Used figuratively to describe a person or group's downfall or failure in a particular situation, often due to defeat or death.

      • to fail or be unsuccessful
        Suggests that someone or something has failed or not met expectations, often resulting in a negative or undesirable outcome.

      • to die
        Used in a humorous or informal way to describe someone's death or passing away, often in a lighthearted or non-serious manner.

    Examples of Bite the dust

    • The boxer fell to the ground, completely exhausted, and it seemed like he had finally bitten the dust.

      This idiom is used to describe a situation where someone or something has reached the point of complete exhaustion or defeat. It comes from the idea of a person falling to the ground and not being able to get back up, as if they have been struck down like a fallen soldier. In this example, the boxer has pushed himself to his limits and has reached the point where he can no longer continue. He has bitten the dust, or reached the point of complete exhaustion and defeat.


    The idiom "bite the dust" has three main meanings, all related to defeat, failure, or death. In its literal sense, it refers to being killed or defeated in battle or competition. Figuratively, it can be used to describe a person or group's downfall or failure in a particular situation. And in a more informal or humorous context, it can also refer to someone's death.

    This idiom is often used to convey a sense of finality or inevitability. It suggests that the outcome being described was bound to happen, and there was no way to avoid it. It can also be used to express disappointment or frustration, as it implies that the person or group being described was not able to achieve their goals or overcome their challenges.

    Origin of "Bite the dust"

    The origin of the idiom "bite the dust" is uncertain. Some sources suggest it originated in ancient Rome, where defeated gladiators would fall to the ground and bite the dust in defeat. Others believe it may have come from the Bible, specifically a passage in the book of Psalms that mentions enemies falling to the ground and eating dust.

    Over time, the idiom became more commonly used in a figurative sense, to describe any kind of defeat or failure. It has also evolved to include the meaning of death, likely due to its connection to battles and fighting.

    Today, "bite the dust" is a popular and widely used idiom, often used in a casual or humorous manner. It has also been adopted into popular culture, appearing in books, movies, and songs.