look like something the cat dragged in


Appear completely bedraggled, as in After running around in the rain for hours, I looked like something the cat dragged in. This expression alludes to a cat's bringing home birds or mice it has killed or savaged. [c. 1920]

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