eat one's young

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The term is derived from the zoologic phenomenon of animals killing and consuming their own young for sustenance.

Verb[edit]

eat one's young

  1. To betray a constituent or charge out of self-serving interests or desperation; savaging.
    With bankruptcy looming, the corporation eventually began eating its young; massive layoffs were announced, and all employee benefits and bonuses were suspended.

Usage notes[edit]

This term sees significant usage in unofficial government and business contexts.