lick wounds

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lick one's wounds

Fig. to recover from a defeat or a rebuke. (Also literal for an animal.) After the terrible meeting and all the criticism, I went back to my office to lick my wounds.
See also: lick, wound

lick your wounds

to avoid or ignore other people after an unpleasant experience Mary's film career was a failure, and she went home to lick her wounds in private.
Etymology: based on the idea of an injured animal that licks its wounds (cleans an injury with its tongue)
See also: lick, wound

lick your wounds

to feel unhappy after a defeat or an unpleasant experience
Usage notes: When dogs and other animals are injured, they lick their wounds (= injuries) in order to help them get better.
After retiring to lick its wounds, the party is regaining its confidence.
See kiss arse, knock into shape
See also: lick, wound

lick (one's) wounds

To recuperate after a defeat.
See also: lick, wound
References in periodicals archive ?
With England in Cardiff in six days time there simply will not be the time to lick wounds.
Murray has never been one for shrinking into corners to lick wounds and only the strong and confident will be kept on as he looks ahead.
Somewhere in her late 20s, Vicki is pregnant, and has come home to lick wounds romantic and vague.
Blues, having had four days to lick wounds inflicted by Jean Tigana's hugely-impressive Fulham side last Friday night, travel to Essex for a first-round first-leg tussle with the more modestly-resourced Southend United.