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Difference between Eat a peck of dirt and Eat dirt

eat a peck of dirtput up with insult and abuse; submit to humiliating treatment:

  • In times of revolution a good many pecks of dirt have to be eaten.

eat dirt—(coll.)

1. = eat a peck of dirt:

  • Lord Fitzurse made up for the dirt which they had been eating by the splendor of his entertainment.

2. (also: eat someone’s dust) trail another competitor in a race:

  • He was the leader in the bike race until he ate dirt and was passed by almost everyone else.

See also: dirt-eater / dirt-eating.