dig one’s own grave


dig one’s own grave


  • to do something that has negative consequences for you, even though these consequences can be easily seen.
  • do something stupid that will seriously harm oneself, cause one’s own ruin or downfall.

Examples in Sentences

  1. She dug her own grave when she started talking behind her boss’s back.
  2. I don’t feel sorry for him getting arrested. He dug his own grave when he stole the money.
  3. If she continues to behave like this towards her senior officer, she’ll be digging her own grave.
  4. Getting too close to local hooligans means you’re digging your own grave.


It is likely that the origin of “dig one’s own grave” came from the Bible proverb ‘Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein‘. The phrasing has developed over the years, but the original proverb still refers to facing the consequences of your own actions.

The original phrase also urges caution when you are setting someone else up for a fall. It may not take long for you to experience the same outcomes that you wish on someone else. Today, this is not something that is generally thought about when the phrase “digging one’s own grave” is used.

As with many phrases that have originally come from the Bible, this idiom has been used for as long as people can remember. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time period where the phrase “dig one’s own grave” began to be used.

Share your opinions4 Opinions

I came across a similar expression some time ago…
“dig a hole for oneself”
I guess its meaning is not very different from “dig one’s own grave” although the latter might point out to more serious, permanent effects. Could you please clarify the difference existing between the two expressions?
And if you decide to write a post about expressions related to behaving in a way that is negative for oneself “shoot oneself in the foot” comes to mind, maybe “burn the candle at both ends”? Kind regards! Daniel

‒ Daniel Renuart September 26, 2022

Introducing politics into Supreme Court decisions on abortion and other issues is akin to digging your own grave in American politics.

‒ Ameri Khan June 28, 2022

By ignoring global warming, we are digging our own graves.

‒ Anonymous July 16, 2019

People who dig their own graves do something which causes them great harm.

‒ Falak Thacker June 20, 2019

What's on your mind?

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