go to the dogs


go to the dogs


  • something is getting worse than usual.
  • to deteriorate in quality or character.
  • becoming far less successful than it once was.
  • to decay, to become bad.
  • a decline in appearance or health; to be damaged or destroyed.

Example Sentences

  1. Have you recently seen their car? It has truly gone to the dogs.
  2. Several items in our house have gone to the dogs in the last three months.
  3. Marilyn was a well-known actress, but her drinking and illegal relationships led her career to go to the dogs.
  4. The reputation of your business appears to have gone to the dogs.


As early as the 1500s, bad or stale food that was deemed unfit for human consumption was thrown to the dogs. The expression caught on and evolved to include any person or thing that met a bad end, was ruined, or looked bad.

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Or it may return from the dogs if things improve.

‒ Vivek Narain May 2, 2018

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