chase (one's) tail

(redirected from chasing your 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 ?
Cockerill said: "You give Montpellier a few opportunities and they will score and then you're chasing your tail.
"Otherwise you're just chasing your tail. It just made us realise about not giving teams easy outs.
O'Driscoll said: "The first game is must-win otherwise you're chasing your tail for the rest of the tournament."
THE modern world moves fast but the modern betting world moves faster, so why spend your mornings chasing your tail looking for value on exchanges when the boys from Trading Post Extra can do it for you?
But if you have a hiccup right away you're chasing your tail after that."
He said "Anybody who's ever played the game knows if you turn up with anything less than a strong mindet and a willingness to get into contact, you're always going to be chasing your tail.
Playing regularly has helped me to develop some consistency, when things are stop-start you end up chasing your tail and never feel fully fit.
"If you don't start things rolling now you're chasing your tail."
Roy says isolating one color involves "squirrel caging" (as in chasing your tail) to shunt some of the predominant light or dark color off to the side to raise the concentration of the color you're extracting, like blues from a predominantly white material stream.
Leaving tasks to build up because you can't face them means you never get on top of things and are for ever chasing your tail.