a dog in the manger


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Related to a dog in the manger: a snake in the grass

dog in the manger

Someone who insists on possessing something they do not want or need out of spite to prevent someone else from having it. The toddler, like a dog in the manger, refused to give her older sister the notebook she needed to complete her school assignment.
See also: dog, manger

a dog in the manger

Someone who is a dog in the manger wants to prevent other people from using or enjoying something that they cannot use or enjoy themselves. As long as he knew you were pining for him Ralph didn't want you, but the minute you became somebody else's he exhibited all the classical signs of the dog in the manger. Note: You can use dog-in-the-manger before nouns to talk about this kind of attitude. He has a dog-in-the-manger attitude. He seems to be saying to hell with the locals, yet spends only two weeks a year at his castle. Note: One of Aesop's fables tells of a dog which prevented an ox from eating the hay in its manger, even though the dog could not eat the hay itself.
See also: dog, manger

a ˌdog in the ˈmanger

a person who selfishly stops other people from using or enjoying something which he/she cannot use or enjoy ▶ ˌdog-in-the-ˈmanger adj.: a dog-in-the-manger attitudeThis expression comes from Aesop’s fable about a dog which lay in a manger (= a long open box) filled with hay. In this way he stopped the other animals eating the hay, even though he could not eat it himself.
See also: dog, manger
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