Definition of go to the dogs in US English:

go to the dogs


  • Deteriorate shockingly.

    ‘the country is going to the dogs’
    • ‘Unfortunately not only the army but the country also eventually went to the dogs.’
    • ‘As Anna and I used to say at work, this place has gone to the dogs.’
    • ‘Everybody had to run hard to keep up the real level of their own earnings, while the country went to the dogs.’
    • ‘When the factories closed, everything went to the dogs.’
    • ‘They feel that their countries have gone to the dogs under the leadership of the present generation of politicians.’
    • ‘Law and order went to the dogs after the Whitlam social experiments of excessive welfare, booming populations of single mothers, poor discipline in schools.’
    • ‘I do not believe that our economy has gone to the dogs as a mistake.’
    • ‘Although the city has developed by leaps and bounds over the years, the cleanliness for which it was known has gone to the dogs, says the collector.’
    • ‘As an adult I love wearing them now my eyesight has gone to the dogs.’
    • ‘But, to be honest, I'm not stupid, that team has gone to the dogs.’
    deteriorate, be in decline, degenerate, decay
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