dog in the manger


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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dog in the manger

One who prevents others from enjoying something despite having no use for it. For example, Why be a dog in the manger? If you aren't going to use those tickets, let someone else have them . This expression alludes to Aesop's fable about a snarling dog that prevents horses from eating fodder that is unpalatable to the dog itself. [Mid-1500s]
See also: dog, manger
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dog in the manger

a person inclined to prevent others from having or using things that they do not want or need themselves.
This expression comes from the fable of the dog that lay in a manger to prevent the ox and horse from eating the hay.
See also: dog, manger
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dog in the manger

A person who takes or keeps something wanted by another out of sheer meanness. The expression comes from one of Aesop’s fables about a snarling dog who prevents the horses from eating their fodder even though the dog himself does not want it. It was probably a cliché by the time Frederick Marryat wrote (Japhet, 1836), “What a dog in the manger you must be—you can’t marry them both.”
See also: dog, manger
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

dog in the manger

Not permitting others to enjoy something you don't need out of spite, a spoilsport. In Aesop's fable of the same name, a dog took a nap in a manger full of hay. When an ox entered and tried to get to its feed, the dog barked menacingly and refused admission, even though the hay was of no value to the dog. The moral: “People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.”
See also: dog, manger
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Dog In The Manger begins the Spanish Golden Age season on November 8.
1 Black sheep 2 Fly the coop (chicken) 3 Play possum 4 Sitting duck 5 Lion's share 6 Go cold turkey 7 Have an albatross around one's neck 8 Play dog in the manger 9 Feather one's own nest (any bird) 10 Get someone's goat 11 Put on the dog 12 Red herring 13 In two shakes of a lamb's tail 14 One swallow does not a summer make 15 There is more than one way to skin a cat 16 Every dog has his day 17 Don't look a gift horse in the mouth 18 Curiosity killed the cat 19 It depends whose ox is gored 20 You can't teach an old dog new tricks 21 Let sleeping dogs lie 22 The leopard cannot change his spots 23 Don't count your chickens until they are hatched 24 The worm turns 25 Like a bull in a china shop
"Clive was 14 and was rangly and very spotty and he turned in this very funny performance in The Dog in the Manger. It was the first time I had directed the Spanish play.
More than 100 plays were considered for the programme and Laurence directed the opening production, The Dog in the Manger. The cast will also be taking the Spanish classics back to Spain in October as part of the Festival de Otono in Madrid.
The Spanish Golden Age season includes The Dog in the Manger, Tamar's Revenge, House of Desires and Pedro, The Great Pretender.
LOCAL LAD: Laurence Boswell has worked with the likes of Madonna and Matt Damon and directs The Dog in the Manger for the RSC's Spanish Golden Age season and (above left) Laurence at the Belgrade in his youth theatre days