chase (one's) tail

(redirected from chasing their tail)

chase (one's) tail

To take action that is ineffectual and does not lead to progress. Refers to how a dog can exhaust itself by chasing its own tail. Come on, Bill, go to sleep. You're just chasing your tail at this point, but you might have a breakthrough with the research if you take a break from it. I'm trying not to chase my tail on this project, but so many components of it are just not working out.
See also: chase, tail

chase tail

slang To pursue or seek out sexual activity with someone. (Usually used by men to refer to women.) My brother always spends his weekends chasing tail in bars around town.
See also: chase, tail
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

chase your (own) tail

keep on doing something futile. informal
See also: chase, tail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

chase your (own) ˈtail

be very busy but in fact achieve very little: In my first month at college I was continually chasing my own tail and being late for everything. ▶ ˈtail-chasing noun
If a dog or cat chases its tail, it runs round in circles trying to bite its own tail.
See also: chase, tail
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

chase (one's) tail

To exert oneself vigorously but ineffectually.
See also: chase, tail
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If not then it's that phone call they don't want to receive - and I don't want to really FROM BACK PAGE they discussed which players are "putting their foot forward in the best possible manner, and also look at guys who were maybe chasing their tail and need to demonstrate a little bit more." He added: "If we think we do need to trim the
It was very much a case of 'chasing their tail' for the Vikings for much of last week's game against Toulouse Olympique.
Sean Wensley, senior vet at PDSA, said stressed dogs showed signs of compulsive disorder by chasing their tail or excessive limb licking.
"Statistics show that the average maintenance technician loses two hours each day, chasing their tail, running back and forth for the parts and supplies that they need," Nye said.
"It's easy to get wrapped up in the latest and greatest technologies, which we saw occur in the demise of the dot-coins, where everyone was chasing their tail and thought they had the solution." The challenge today, however, lies with a company's strategy and what users of services really need to foster productivity, acid value and support the strategy, he said.
I do worry about some of the younger trainers because they are on the go seven days a week, their mobile phones ring all the time, and they're forever chasing their tail
"If the game plan is to try and smash them off the park, the Wallabies will be chasing their tail.
THE Welsh Assembly/Government seems to be in a state of flux, with the four major parties chasing their tails as to the best way forward for Wales.
"They had a very short period between taking over and the start of pre-season, and were chasing their tails straight away.
Patients do not want to keep chasing their tails between BV and yeast.
They spend the day playing, sliding into the water, wrestling with each other and chasing their tails. It has come to my observation that our otter family are generally curious creatures," said Dr Waleed Shabaan, zoo manager of Emirates Park Zoo and Resort.
Most working mums spend their time chasing their tails as they endeavour to juggle work with home and family life.
If they are chasing their tails they have a problem from the o."ey have got to hit the TURN.
The team from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York noticed some mice in the lab were particularly active - constantly chasing their tails.
Hebert's laboratory were unusually active - in a state of near-continual movement, chasing their tails in a circular pattern.