sackcloth

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wear sackcloth and ashes

To act in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been wearing sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is wear sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth, wear

in sackcloth and ashes

Behaving in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been in sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is stay in sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth

sackcloth and ashes

Penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. As the phrase originates from an ancient tradition of wearing sackcloth as a show of repentance, "sackcloth and ashes" is typically accompanied by verbs like "wear." Darren has been wearing sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is stay in sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth

sackcloth and ashes

Mourning or penitence, as in What I did to Julie's child was terrible, and I've been in sackcloth and ashes ever since . This term refers to the ancient Hebrew custom of indicating humility before God by wearing a coarse cloth, normally used to make sacks, and dusting oneself with ashes. In English it appeared in William Tyndale's 1526 biblical translations (Matthew 11:21), "They [the cities Tyre and Sidon] had repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
See also: and, ash, sackcloth

in sackcloth and ashes

manifesting grief or repentance.
In the Bible, the wearing of sackcloth and the sprinkling ashes on your head were signs of penitence or mourning.
1999 Athletics Weekly It was their first focal point, the moment of truth when their season could blossom further in Seville or end in sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth

put on, wear, etc. ˌsackcloth and ˈashes

behave in a way that shows that you are sorry for something that you have done: Look, I’ve said I’m sorry! What do you want me to do — put on sackcloth and ashes?This comes from the Bible. People wore sackcloth (= a rough material) and put ash (= the grey powder left after something burns) on their face and hair to show that a person they loved had died or that they were sorry for something they had done.
See also: and, ash, put, sackcloth