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(See also FAILURE.)
come a cropper To fail badly in any undertaking, particularly after its apparent initial success; to encounter a sudden setback after an auspicious beginning. This figurative meaning derives from the literal come a cropper ‘to fall or be thrown headlong from a horse.’ Although the precise origin of the expression is not known, it may be related to the earlier phrase neck and crop meaning ‘bodily, completely, altogether.’ Both literal and figurative uses of the expression date from the second half of the 1800s.
Custer’s last stand An all-out, noble effort that ends in utter, embarrassing failure. In June of 1876, U.S. General George A. Custer’s troops were annihilated by Sioux warriors under Sitting Bull at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Since then, Custer’s last stand has gained currency as a phrase used in comparisons to emphasize those aspects of a given situation which fit the pattern of an all-out effort negated by total defeat, as established by the historical Custer’s last stand.
hoist with one’s own petard See REVERSAL.
meet one’s Waterloo To suffer a crushing and decisive defeat; to succumb to the pressures of a predicament, tragedy, or other unfavorable situation; to meet one’s match; to get one’s comeuppance. This expression alludes to the Battle of Waterloo (1815) in which Napoleon was decisively vanquished by the Duke of Wellington.
Every man meets his Waterloo at last. (Wendell Phillipps, in a speech, November 1, 1859)
|Noun||1.||downfall - failure that results in a loss of position or reputation|
failure - an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose; "the surprise party was a complete failure"
finish - the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict); "booze will be the finish of him"; "it was a fight to the finish"
|2.||downfall - the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)|
fine spray - precipitation in very small drops
hail - precipitation of ice pellets when there are strong rising air currents
sleet - partially melted snow (or a mixture of rain and snow)
virga - light wispy precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground (especially when the lower air is low in humidity)
diamond dust, frost mist, frost snow, ice crystal, ice needle, poudrin, snow mist - small crystals of ice
atmospheric condition, weather, weather condition, conditions - the atmospheric conditions that comprise the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; "they were hoping for good weather"; "every day we have weather conditions and yesterday was no exception"; "the conditions were too rainy for playing in the snow"
|3.||downfall - a sudden decline in strength or number or importance; "the fall of the House of Hapsburg"|
weakening - becoming weaker
anticlimax - a disappointing decline after a previous rise; "the anticlimax of a brilliant career"