Bite the Dust
To "Bite the Dust" means to die, be defeated or come to an end. Please see our usage examples for each of these meanings; to die is represented in our first example, be defeated in our second, and come to an end in our third.

The origin of the phrase "bite the dust" is centuries old, dating back to the King James Bible, published in 1611. Psalms 72:9 reads: They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust." The phrase as we know it, first appears in print in "Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane", published in 1750 by the Scottish author Tobias Smollet. This book reads: "We made two of them bite the dust, and the others betake themselves to fight."

It is possible this phrase predates the bible. "The Iliad", Homer's epic story, written around 700 BC, when translated in the 18th century by Samuel Butler, contained this phrase: "Grant that my sword may pierce the shirt of Hector about his heart, and that full many of his comrades may bite the dust as they fall dying around him." It is unclear whether Homer himself used this phrase.

To "bite the dust" was popularized in American Western movies that featured wild chases between cowboys and Indians, with losers frequently literally biting the dust as they fell off their horses. The phrase became seemingly a fixture in our language with Queen's song "Another One Bites the Dust" released in 1980. Listen to the song.

Use Example - Once the bullets start flying, our brave soldiers will start biting the dust."

"After all the votes were tallied, Rod realized he had won as his two main competitors had bit the dust."

"I've done everything I can with this computer. It's going to just bite the dust any day now.

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