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have a dog in the hunt
To have some vested interest in or something to gain by a given situation. Some people can watch a football game no matter who is playing, but I'm only interested if I've got a dog in the hunt. Many small business owners—whether they know it or not—have a dog in the hunt with this proposed tax bill.
hunt where the ducks are
To pursue or look for one's objectives, results, or goals in the place where one is most likely to find them. If you're looking to expand your customer base, you need to identify who would benefit from your business the most and then hunt where the ducks are.
1. A practical joke in which the victim is sent on a hunt for a fictitious animal called a snipe. When I was in the Cub Scouts, the youngest members were always sent out on a snipe hunt by the counselors on the night of our first big campout.
2. By extension, any hunt, search, or quest for something that is fictitious, non-existent, elusive, or illusory. The president has pledged to make universal healthcare a reality, but I think he's really just on a snipe hunt.
happy hunting ground
A utopia. Used by Native Americans to describe the afterlife. The annual car swap meet is a happy hunting ground for automotive enthusiasts.
you can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
When two parties are in conflict, you can't support both of them—you must choose one. Come on, you can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds—pick a side! You're either in favor of renovating the library, or you're not.
An attempt to blame and punish people who hold unpopular views and opinions, often under the guise of some other investigation. The ruling party's witch hunt against its detractors sparked a civil war.
hunt high and low (for someone or something)
To look absolutely everywhere for someone or something. We've been hunting high and low for an apartment we can afford, but the housing market in this town is atrocious. I hunted high and low, but I couldn't find my passport anywhere.
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
1. To support or attempt to placate both sides of a conflict or dispute. Many have criticized the government of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds regarding the territorial dispute between the two nations.
2. To act duplicitously or hypocritically; to speak or act out against something while engaging or taking part in it. How can you be taken seriously as a reformer when you have continued to accept gifts? You can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, Senator.
1. To turn one's gaze or attention from something else, often by literally lifting one's head and/or turning one's eyes upward. Can you please look up from that book for a second? I'm trying to talk to you! Kids these days barely ever look up from their phones.
2. To perform a search for some particular information, as on a search engine, in a book, etc. Can you look up the definition of this word for me?
3. To contact someone, typically when you are in the area where they live. A noun or pronoun can be used between "look" and "up." Be sure to look me up if you're ever in New York. You should look up Aunt Maureen when you're out West.
4. To improve or become better. In this usage, the phrase is typically used in the continuous tense ("looking up"). My freelance business is finally looking up—I've had potential clients calling me non-stop!
1. To run while in the company of someone else. I go running with my friend Jake every morning before school.
2. To have a particular trait or characteristic when one runs. I've always run with awkward, plodding steps, so I don't think I'd do well in a sport that requires such fancy footwork. I've never seen anyone run with such grace or dexterity before.
3. To keep company or socialize with someone. Jason's been running with troublesome group of kids lately. I thought you ran with a different gang—did you have a falling out with them?
4. To accept or adopt something and begin carrying it out with great enthusiasm. The boss decided to run with my idea of developing a smartphone app to accompany our newest product. That's a really clever topic—you should run with it for your thesis.
1. To pursue and find someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hunt" and "down." The police have vowed to hunt down the perpetrators of this crime. If you hurt my daughter, I'll hunt you down, you hear me?
2. To search for someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hunt" and "down." I'm trying to hunt down an extra cookie pan, but I've been unsuccessful so far.
hunt after someone or something
to seek or pursue someone or something. I'm hunting after a tall man with straight black hair. Elaine is hunting after a place to store her bicycle.
hunt for someone or something
1. to chase someone or something for sport. The hunter hunted for grouse on the game preserve. Frank likes to hunt for deer.
2. to look for someone or something. I am hunting for someone to help me with the piano. lam hunting for a new piano.
See also: hunt
hunt high and low (for someone or something)and look high and low (for someone or something); search high and low (for someone or something)
Fig. to look carefully in every possible place for someone or something. We looked high and low for the right teacher. The Smiths are searching high and low for the home of their dreams.
hunt someone or something down
1. to chase and catch someone or something. I don't know where Amy is, but I'll hunt her down. I'll find her. I will hunt down the villain.
2. to locate someone or something. I don't have a big enough gasket. I'll have to hunt one down. I have to hunt down a good dentist.
hunt someone or something out
to find someone or something even if concealed. We will hunt them all out and find every last one of those guys. We will hunt out all of them. They hunted out the murderer.
hunt through something
to search through the contents of something; to search among things. Joel hunted through his wallet for a dollar bill. I will have to hunt through my drawers for a pair of socks that match.
look someone or something upand hunt someone or something up
1. to seek someone, a group, or something out. I lost track of Sally. I'll try to look her up and get in touch with her. lam going to look up an old friend when lam in Chicago. I am going to hunt that old gang up. Ted came into town and looked up his favorite pizza place.
2. to seek information about someone or something in a book or listing. I don't recognize his name. I'll look him up and see what I can find. I'll look up this person in a reference book. She looked herself up in the telephone book to make sure her name was spelled correctly.
to show promise of improving. My prospects for a job are looking up. Conditions are looking up.
look up (from something)
to gaze upwards; to stop reading or working and lift one's gaze upward. She looked up from her reading and spoke to us. Mary looked up as we came into the room.
run with someone or something
to stay in the company of someone or some group. Fred was out running with Larry when they met Vernon. Let's go out and run with the other guys this morning.
run with something
1. Lit. to run, showing a particular characteristic. Sally runs with speed and grace. Fred runs with tremendous speed.
2. Fig. to take over something and handle it aggressively and independently. I know that Alice can handle the job. She will take it on and run with it. I hope she runs with this next project.
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
Fig. to support both sides of a dispute. In our office politics, Sally always tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, telling both the clerical workers and the management that she thinks they should prevail.
happy hunting ground
A place where one can find or do what one wishes without restriction. For example, The North Shore is a happy hunting ground for antique collectors. This term alludes to the Native American idea of an afterlife where hunters find unlimited game. [Early 1800s]
1. Search for in a book or other source, as in I told her to look up the word in the dictionary. [Late 1600s]
2. Call on or visit, as in I'm going to look up my friend in Chicago. [Mid-1800s]
3. Become better, improve, as in Business is finally looking up. [c. 1800]
4. look up to. Admire, respect, as in The students really looked up to Mr. Jones. [Early 1700s]
1. Also, run around with. Socialize with; see run around, def. 2.
2. Take as one's own, adopt; also, carry out enthusiastically. For example, He wanted to run with the idea and go public immediately.
3. run with the hare, hunt with the hounds. Support two opposing sides at the same time, as in He wants to increase the magazine's circulation along with its price-that's trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds . This expression, alluding to being both hunter and hunted at the same time, dates from the 1400s and was already a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 collection.
run with the hare and hunt with the houndsBRITISH, LITERARY
If someone runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds, they try to support both sides in an argument or fight. They want to keep the peace and have everybody happy. For this reason they learn very quickly to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. Note: A hound is a dog that has been bred for hunting.
happy hunting grounda place where success or enjoyment is obtained.
This phrase originally referred to the optimistic hope of Native Americans that the afterlife will be spent in a country where there are good hunting grounds.
1991 Antique Collector With Old Master drawings still considered an undervalued genre, this should prove a happy hunting ground for those in search of a bargain.
run with the hare and hunt with the houndstry to remain on good terms with both sides in a conflict or dispute. British
This expression has been in use since the mid 15th century.
witch hunta campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views.
The expression was inspired by the persecution in former times of people believed to be witches, often culminating in execution by burning.
run with the ˌhare and hunt with the ˈhoundstry to remain friendly with both sides in a quarrel: I know you want to keep everyone happy, but I’m afraid you can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds on this issue.
1. To pursue, track, or search for something or someone: The panther hunted down the deer. The police hunted the kidnappers down.
2. To find something or someone after a long or difficult search: I hunted down my watch—it was at the bottom of my sock drawer. After two weeks, the detectives finally hunted the suspect down.
1. To direct one's gaze upward: Look up at that cloud; it looks like a dog!
2. To search for information about someone or something from a reference source, such as a book or a file system: He looked up the word "gullible" in the dictionary. I forgot her phone number, so I looked it up on the Internet.
3. To seek out and visit or contact someone: We looked up an old friend when we visited Boston. I looked my college roommate up, and we got together to talk about the old days.
4. To become better; improve: Things are looking up now that the weather's better.
5. look up to To hold someone in high regard: I look up to my parents.
1. To accompany and participate in the activities of someone or something: Those teenagers run with a wild crowd.
2. To float or sail in the same direction as something:The sailboat ran with the wind all the way to the beach. On the trip back, we can run with the current, and we won't have to paddle the canoe.
3. To adopt something or take something as one's own and then proceed with it: I took their idea for a novel and ran with it.
tv. & in. to recruit someone (for a job). He went to the conference to head hunt a new employee.
happy hunting ground
Heaven; a place of abundance, replete with what one wants. The idea comes from the beliefs of Native American tribes that after death they will go to a paradise with an abundance of game and therefore always have enough to eat. The term appears in the works of James Fenimore Cooper and other writers on Indian subjects. As Cooper wrote in The Pathfinder (1840), “‘Do the dead of the savages ever walk?’ demanded Cap. ‘Ay, and run, too, in their happy hunting grounds.’” Later the term became a euphemism for death, and still later it was transferred to any place of abundant treasures.
run with the hare, hunt with the hounds, to
To stay in favor with two opponents; to take both sides at the same time. This expression, with its analogy to being both hunted and hunter, dates from the fifteenth century and appeared in Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection. John Lyly used it in Euphues (1580): “Whatsoeuer I speake to men, the same also I speake to women, I meane not to run with the Hare and holde with the Hounde.” The meaning is quite different from a similar-sounding cliché, to run with the pack, which means to take the same side as the majority. However, both these terms may be dying out in America.
that dog won't hunt
This idea or excuse won’t work. This folksy expression originated in the American South, where dogs are commonly used to hunt raccoons and other wild animals. Also put as that old dog won’t hunt, it originated in the late 1800s.