[dawg-eet-dawg, dog-eet-dog]
See more synonyms for dog-eat-dog on
  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dog-eat-dog

Contemporary Examples of dog-eat-dog

  • The cannibalism is, in typical Sondheim fashion, a cheeky metaphor for the dog-eat-dog capitalism of the day.

    The Daily Beast logo
    12 Craziest Pie Scenes

    Marlow Stern

    November 21, 2011

  • His plays have typically been dog-eat-dog affairs; it makes sense that he views politics as trench warfare.

    The Daily Beast logo
    David Mamet's Right Turn

    Ben Crair

    May 28, 2011

Historical Examples of dog-eat-dog

  • If we eventually lick the Kradens, one of the very reasons will be because we're a dog-eat-dog society.

    Medal of Honor

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • I cannot live by the dog-eat-dog code that seems to prevail wherever folk get jammed together in an unwieldy social mass.

    North of Fifty-Three

    Bertrand W. Sinclair

dog-eat-dog in Culture


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.