- 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."
make the dust fly
Also, make the feathers or fur fly. Stir matters up, cause a commotion or disturbance. For example, When she saw the dog sleeping on her new bedspread, she really made the dust fly, or As soon as he learns who dented his car, he'll make the feathers fly, or She'd better not interfere or he'll make the fur fly. The first usage alludes to the results of a vigorous house-cleaning effort. The two variants, both dating from the early 1800s, allude to what happens when a hunting dog is set on a bird or rabbit.
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