chase (one's) tail

(redirected from chasing their tails)

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 ?
But heading into the tail end of the week, some punters were evidently chasing their tails after a rough Galway Plate day.
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.
It was a decision that has badly backfired on McLaren, who are now chasing their tails in a bid to make up for lost time and ground.
They do not feel that their time is spent each day chasing their tails just to manage the bare minimum of care and trying not to miss things that could cause harm to patients.
Aldershot made it six games unbeaten with a display of quick passing that had Cheltenham chasing their tails for long periods.
"From the first morning in Mohali, India have pretty much dominated and we have been chasing their tails.
--enjoy chasing their tails, especially when young.
Nikki said: "Dogs, especially ones like border collies, need exercise which exerts them mentally as well as physically, otherwise they end up chasing their tails.