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dog in the manger

a person who selfishly keeps something that he or she does not really need or want so that others may not use or enjoy it.
Origin of dog in the manger
Related forms
dog-in-the-manger, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dog-in-the-manger
Historical Examples
  • For the moment they have managed to make the British Museum a sort of dog-in-the-manger.

    Travels in South Kensington Moncure Daniel Conway
  • Well, at any rate, she had never been anything to him and he was no dog-in-the-manger.

    Satan Sanderson Hallie Erminie Rives
  • It wasn't really from the dog-in-the-manger spirit that the little woman acted.

  • 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
  • But from a national standpoint such a dog-in-the-manger policy must eventually bring its own punishment.

    The Cradle of Mankind W.A. Wigram
  • Her clear eyes turned wonderingly on him in the moonlight, and he mentally cursed his dog-in-the-manger mood.

    The Fifth Ace Douglas Grant
  • He realized thoroughly the egotism, the dog-in-the-manger spirit which was alive in him, and hated but could not banish it.

    The Call of the Blood Robert Smythe Hichens
  • Undoubtedly Airey Newton was glad to hear that, though with no joy which can rank above a dog-in-the-manger's.

  • It becomes exceedingly easy for one road to play a dog-in-the-manger part.

British Dictionary definitions for dog-in-the-manger

dog in the manger

  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
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dog-in-the-manger in Culture

dog in the manger definition

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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