- 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."
shake the dust from one's feet
Depart in a hurry, especially from an unpleasant situation; also, leave forever. For example, I couldn't wait to shake the dust from my feet; I never wanted to see either of them again. This metaphoric term, alluding to moving one's feet fast enough to shake off dust, appears in several books of the Bible. [c. 1600]
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