dog in the manger

Idioms & Phrases

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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