bite the dust

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bite the dust (third-person singular simple present bites the dust, present participle biting the dust, simple past bit the dust, past participle bitten the dust)

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) To die.
    • 1900, Samuel Butler, transl. The Odyssey, Book XXII., page 293
      Ulysses killed Demoptolemus, Telemachus Euryades, Eumæus Elatus, while the stockman killed Pisander. These all bit the dust, and as the others drew back into a corner Ulysses and his men rushed forward and regained their spears by drawing them from the bodies of the dead
    • 1877, Frances Fuller Victor, Eleven years in the Rocky Mountains and a life on the frontier, Chapter IX, p. 156
      Three more warriors bit the dust...
  2. (idiomatic) To quit, or fail.
    • 1979, The Clash (music), “London Calling”:
      London calling, now don't look to us / Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
    My old backpack finally bit the dust the other day.