- ashes, refuse, etc.
- junk1(def 1).
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to be killed, especially in battle; die.
- to suffer defeat; be unsuccessful; fail: Another manufacturer has bitten the dust.
- Baseball.(of a pitcher) to throw the ball purposely at or dangerously close to (the batter).
- to take out or prepare for use again, as after a period of inactivity or storage: I'm going to dust off my accounting skills and try to get a job in the finance department.
- to beat up badly: The gang of hoodlums dusted off a cop.
- to be killed; die.
- to humble oneself abjectly; grovel: He will resign rather than lick the dust.
Origin of dust
- the mortal body of man
- the corpse of a dead person
- to fail completely or cease to exist
- to fall down dead
Word Origin for dust
Old English dust, from Proto-Germanic *dunstaz (cf. Old High German tunst "storm, breath," German Dunst "mist, vapor," Danish dyst "milldust," Dutch duist), from PIE *dheu- (1) "dust, smoke, vapor" (cf. Sanskrit dhu- "shake," Latin fumus "smoke"). Meaning "that to which living matter decays" was in Old English, hence, figuratively, "mortal life."
bite the dust
Literally, to fall face down in the dirt; to suffer a defeat: “Once again, the champion wins, and another contender bites the dust.”
bite the dust
Suffer defeat or death, as in The 1990 election saw both of our senators bite the dust. Although this expression was popularized by American Western films of the 1930s, in which either cowboys or Indians were thrown from their horses to the dusty ground, it originated much earlier. Tobias Smollett had it in Gil Blas (1750): “We made two of them bite the dust.”
In addition to the idiom beginning with dust
- dust off
- bite the dust
- dry as dust
- in the dust
- make the dust fly
- shake the dust from one's feet
- throw dust in someone's eyes
- watch my dust
- when the dust has settled