from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Extremely tired.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Exhausted.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Tired as a dog after a long chase.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. drained of energy or effectiveness; extremely tired; completely exhausted
Dog tired is an old English phrase usually hyphenated to dog-tired. An adjectival phrase meaning to be physically exhausted, it derives from an old tale of Alfred the Great who used to send his sons out with his extensive kennels of hunting dogs. Whichever of his sons, be it Athelbrod or Edwin, were able to catch more of the hounds would gain their father's right hand side at the dinner table that evening. These chases would leave them 'dog-tired' yet merry at their victory. The tradition was continued for a few generations but is not noted in literature after Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. (Wiktionary)