dog in the manger

Origin of dog in the manger

First recorded in 1555–65
Related formsdog-in-the-man·ger, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dog in the manger

Historical Examples of dog in the manger

  • It is—a dog-in-the-manger business; I did think you were above it.

  • Well, at any rate, she had never been anything to him and he was no dog-in-the-manger.

    Satan Sanderson

    Hallie Erminie Rives

  • At best he had achieved an impasse, a dog-in-the-manger victory.

    Port O' Gold

    Louis John Stellman

  • Now look here: it's just foolery to let this Dog-in-the-Manger Company hold the stage any longer.

    The Recipe for Diamonds

    Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne

  • His was a dog-in-the-manger affection; he did not want her himself, and yet he would allow nobody else to have her.

    A Bachelor Husband

    Ruby M. Ayres


British Dictionary definitions for dog in the manger

dog in the manger

noun
    1. a person who prevents others from using something he has no use for
    2. (as modifier)a dog-in-the-manger attitude
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

dog in the manger in Culture

dog in the manger

A person who spitefully refuses to let someone else benefit from something for which he or she has no personal use: “We asked our neighbor for the fence posts he had left over, but, like a dog in the manger, he threw them out rather than give them to us.” The phrase comes from one of Aesop's fables, about a dog lying in a manger full of hay. When an ox tries to eat some hay, the dog bites him, despite the fact that the hay is of no use to the dog.

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.

Idioms and Phrases with dog in the manger

dog in the manger

One who prevents others from enjoying something despite having no use for it. For example, Why be a dog in the manger? If you aren't going to use those tickets, let someone else have them. This expression alludes to Aesop's fable about a snarling dog that prevents horses from eating fodder that is unpalatable to the dog itself. [Mid-1500s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.