go to ground

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go to ground (third-person singular simple present goes to ground, present participle going to ground, simple past went to ground, past participle gone to ground)

  1. (intransitive, especially of an animal, chiefly UK) To escape into a burrow, hole, etc. when being hunted.
    The fox escaped from the hounds by going to ground.
    • 1912, H. Rider Haggard, chapter 19, in Marie:
      I heard them on the other bank, and then saw a man on a horse crossing the river, and went to ground like a jackal.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension, chiefly UK) To hide from public view or sequester oneself, especially when authorities, members of the news media, or others are looking for one.
    • 1906, Arthur Griffiths, chapter 11, in The Passenger from Calais:
      It was more than enough for my fugitives to clear out of the Lausanne station and make some new move, to hide away in an out-of-the-way spot, go to ground in fact, or travel in another direction.
    • 2008 January 24, Vivienne Walt, “France's $7.2 Billion Hit”, in Time:
      Kerviel's identity was revealed on the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph websites, but was not confirmed by bank officials, who admitted on Thursday that the rogue trader appeared to have gone to ground and that they had no idea where he was.
  3. (intransitive) To fall on the floor
    • 2020 September 5, David Hytner, “Raheem Sterling keeps his cool to see off Iceland amid blaze of late drama”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Iceland hoisted a high ball forward, Gomez lost his bearing and put his hands on the substitute, Hólmbert Friðjónsson, who went to ground.

See also[edit]