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 Britain) To escape into a burrow, hole, etc. when being hunted.
    • 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 Britain) 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, Vivienne Walt, "France's $7.2 Billion Hit," Time, 24 Jan.:
      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.

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