dog in the manger

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From a fable about a dog preventing other animals from eating the hay in a manger, even though as a carnivore he could not eat it himself.


dog in the manger (plural dogs in mangers)

  1. One who denies others what he cannot use himself.
    • 1930, M. K. Gandhi, "Notes on the Way to Dandi", in Non-Violent Resistance, page 246
      No adjective is strong enough for characterizing this wicked dog-in-the-manger policy. From various sources I hear tales of such wanton destruction of nations' property in all parts of India.