biting the dust


      • experiencing defeat or failure
        Describing someone or something that has been defeated or failed in a particular endeavor or situation

      • dying or being killed
        Referring to someone or something that has been killed or has died, especially in a violent or dramatic manner

    Examples of biting the dust

    • The once-popular TV show bit the dust last season due to low ratings.

      This example uses the idiom to mean that the TV show failed or ceased to exist. It originated from an ancient Persian custom where enemies were executed by having a sword-wielding horse bite down on them until they died.

    • After months of negotiation, the peace agreement finally stuck, and the long-running conflict bit the dust.

      This example uses the idiom to mean that the conflict came to an end or was resolved.

    • The struggling startup company could not survive in the competitive market and has finally bitten the dust.

      This example uses the idiom to convey that the company has failed and ceased to exist due to financial or competitive difficulties.

    • The author's bestselling novel, once a hit, has now bitten the dust due to negative reviews and declining sales.

      This example uses the idiom to indicate that the novel's success has come to an end because of negative reviews and decreasing sales.

    • The ancient fortress crumbled to the ground in a cloud of dust, thereby biting the dust itself.

      "Biting the dust" is a colloquial expression used to describe something that has undergone complete destruction or defeat. In this example, the fortress has been thoroughly defeated by time and the forces of nature, reducing it to nothing more than a pile of dust.

    • The once-thriving business went bankrupt and had to file for bankruptcy, biting the dust in the process.

      "Biting the dust" is also used to describe a person or entity that has experienced total failure or defeat. In this case, the business has been defeated by financial mismanagement and poor market conditions, resulting in its complete failure.

    • The athlete fell to the ground after being tackled by an opponent, biting the dust for a brief moment before getting back up.

      "Biting the dust" is sometimes used to describe a temporary state of defeat or weakness, particularly in sports. In this example, the athlete has been temporarily defeated by the opponent's tackle, but will eventually rise back up and continue playing.

    • The ancient civilization fell to ruin, leaving nothing but ruins and dust behind.

      "Biting the dust" is a vivid and dramatic way to describe the complete and utter destruction of something or someone. In this example, the civilization has met its end and been reduced to nothing more than dust and ruins, symbolizing its complete defeat and collapse.


    The idiom "biting the dust" is commonly used to express defeat or failure, as well as death or being killed. It is often used in a figurative sense to convey a negative outcome in a situation, or to describe someone or something that has met an unfortunate end. It can be used in a variety of contexts, from sports and competition to everyday life and dramatic situations.

    When someone or something is said to be "biting the dust," it implies that they have suffered a loss or have been defeated in some way. It can also convey a sense of finality, especially when used to describe death or being killed. The idiom is often used to emphasize the dramatic or significant nature of the defeat or death, adding a colorful and vivid element to the language.

    Origin of "biting the dust"

    The origin of the idiom "biting the dust" can be traced back to ancient battles and warfare. It is believed to have originated from the practice of soldiers falling to the ground or being thrown off their horses in defeat, and literally biting the dust as they hit the ground. Over time, the expression evolved to take on a more metaphorical meaning, and is now commonly used to convey defeat or death in a variety of contexts.

    The idiom has also been popularized and reinforced through its use in literature, film, and other forms of popular culture, further ingraining it in the English language. Its vivid imagery and dramatic connotations have contributed to its enduring popularity and widespread use in modern language. Examples of the idiom can be found in classic literature, such as in the works of Shakespeare, as well as in contemporary media and entertainment.