in sackcloth and ashes

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in sackcloth and ashes

Behaving in a way that shows one's penitence or remorse for one's misdeeds or poor behavior. Darren has been in sackcloth and ashes ever since his girlfriend broke up with him for cheating on her. There's no way to turn back time on the way I treated my brother growing up. All I can do now is stay in sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth

in sackcloth and ashes

manifesting grief or repentance.
In the Bible, the wearing of sackcloth and the sprinkling ashes on your head were signs of penitence or mourning.
1999 Athletics Weekly It was their first focal point, the moment of truth when their season could blossom further in Seville or end in sackcloth and ashes.
See also: and, ash, sackcloth
References in classic literature ?
This Mary Dyer had entered the mint- master's dwelling, clothed in sackcloth and ashes, and seated herself in our great chair with a sort of dignity and state.
I am sure it wouldn't do us any good out there to feel that you were all sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
He attended on us, as I may say, in sackcloth and ashes.
I know Carrie and the girls wore weird creations but I don't recall them ever stepping out in sackcloth and ashes.
That strident minority which insisted upon wasting so much capital resource on the development of wind farms should be dressed in sackcloth and ashes and made to repay the costs.
It would have been more appropriate for him to arrive in sackcloth and ashes to indicate a penitential church rather than a triumphal tour with all the accouterments of royalty.
The only time I want to see her again is in sackcloth and ashes, having renounced her millions.
He said: "We should dress in sackcloth and ashes and live on bread and water.
The doom-mongers have queued up in sackcloth and ashes in the wake of World Cup failure pointing to the retirement of top stars Roy Keane, Kenny Cunningham and Steve Carr.
Dressed in sackcloth and ashes at a hastily arranged press conference, he may have offered a mealy-mouthed apology to manager Graham Taylor, his own team-mates and his own supporters.
5 million paycheck, and no sniffling, sycophantic employees dressed in sackcloth and ashes, hurling themselves on the ground in apoplectic fits of despair.
Hills make him 12-1 to leave before the end of the series, putting the sack in sackcloth and Ashes.
The low standards of so many BBC television programmes nowadays, especially on BBC1, could mean that the enforcement authorities should dress in sackcloth and ashes in penance for the organisation for which they are collecting money.
All members of the Provisional IRA must march up the mall at Stormont dressed in sackcloth and ashes, before depositing all their weapons at the feet of the statue of Carson.