endangered species

Idioms & Phrases

endangered species

A group threatened with extinction or destruction. For example, Workers willing to put in overtime without extra pay are an endangered species, or With the new budget cuts, public television has become an endangered species. This expression, originally referring to species of plants or animals in danger of dying out, began in the 1980s to be extended to anything or anyone becoming rare.

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