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[dawg-eet-dawg, dog-eet-dog] /ˈdɔg itˈdɔg, ˈdɒg itˈdɒg/
marked by destructive or ruthless competition; without self-restraint, ethics, etc.:
It's a dog-eat-dog industry.
complete egotism; action based on utter cynicism:
The only rule of the marketplace was dog-eat-dog.
Origin of dog-eat-dog
First recorded in 1930-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dog eat dog
Historical Examples
  • Seems to me it's "dog eat dog" until every one is disgusted.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • From then on it was nip and tuck, and each man for himself, dog eat dog.

    Famous Flyers David Goodger (
  • "He's the biggest dog, and it's dog eat dog in our business, as all over nowadays," I replied.

  • It was a case of dog eat dog with us; and I only hope well run across no more of the red rascals until we rejoin our party.

  • "A neat example of dog eat dog," Farrell said, snapping off the magnoscanner.

    The Anglers of Arz Roger Phillips Dee
  • Franklin's sanction of free trade is, however, antithetical to Mandeville's 'dog eat dog' basis.

    Benjamin Franklin Frank Luther Mott
  • In the first place it is dog eat dog in every direction; the joy of the hunter and the most unjoyous fear of the hunted.

  • It was case of dog eat dog, and failures, with their unavoidable accompaniment of unemployed labor, were all too frequent.

    United States Steel Arundel Cotter
  • If it's got to be dog eat dog, and no gents need apply at a firemen's muster, then here's where we have our part of the lunch.

  • It was a half-ludicrous, half-horrible "dog eat dog," an unspeakable cannibalism.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
dog eat dog in Culture

dog-eat-dog definition

Ruthlessly competitive: “You have to look out for your own interests; it's a dog-eat-dog world.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dog eat dog



Ruthlessly competitive and often cruel: dog-eat-dog world of New York City (1850s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dog eat dog

dog eat dog

Ruthless acquisition or competition, as in With shrinking markets, it's dog eat dog for every company in this field. This contradicts a Latin proverb which maintains that dog does not eat dog, first recorded in English in 1543. Nevertheless, by 1732 it was put as “Dogs are hard drove when they eat dogs” (Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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