Definition of dog in the manger in English:

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dog in the manger

Pronunciation: /ˌdɒɡ ɪn ðə ˈmeɪndʒə/


A person who has no need of, or ability to use, a possession that would be of use or value to others, but who prevents others from having it: what a dog in the manger you must be! [as adjective]: she can be so dog in the manger about updating things in the office
More example sentences
  • Still, I suppose you can't prevent progress, and I shouldn't be a dog in the manger.
  • No sooner had the Finance Minister announced the decentralisation plan in his latest Budget than the begrudgers in Dublin were adopting a dog-in-the-manger attitude.
  • However, the ECB has maintained its dog-in-the-manger stance on inflation currently 0.2% above the official target rate of 0.2%.


Late 16th century: alluding to the fable of the dog that lay in a manger to prevent the ox and horse from eating the hay.

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