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To fail, or to stop being successful - thesaurus

Synonyms

go tits-up

very informal if something goes tits-up it fails completely

fail

verb

to be unsuccessful when you try to do something

founder

verb

to begin to fail

languish

verb

to fail to be successful or to improve

backfire

verb

if a plan or idea backfires, it has the opposite effect to the one that you wanted

fizzle

verb

to gradually fail, become less enthusiastic, or disappear, especially after starting successfully

collapse

verb

to suddenly fail or stop existing

flop

verb

if a play, film, or new product flops, it is completely unsuccessful

crash

verb

if a business crashes, it fails suddenly and completely

bomb

verb

informal to be very unsuccessful

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More synonyms

atrophy

verb

formal if an organization or practice atrophies or is atrophied, it becomes weaker and less effective

be/live in someone’s shadow

to feel or seem unsuccessful in comparison to someone who is very successful

bite the dust

to fail, die, or stop existing

boomerang

verb

if something boomerangs on you or against you, it has a bad effect on you instead of on the person it was intended to affect

break down

if a relationship or discussion breaks down, it stops being successful

choke

verb

informal to fail to achieve something, especially because you lose confidence

come a cropper

to fail or get into trouble

come apart at the seams

to fail completely, or to come to an end

come down in the world

to become less rich, powerful, successful etc than you were previously

come/fall apart at the seams

to stop being useful or effective

come to grief

to be unsuccessful

come to nought

to be unsuccessful

come unglued

if something such as a plan or system comes unglued, it fails

come unstuck

informal if something such as a plan or system comes unstuck, it fails

crash and burn

to fail completely

crumble

verb

to stop existing or being effective

die a death

to disappear, or to fail

disintegrate

verb

if an organization or society disintegrates, it stops working effectively and fails completely

do no good

to not have any effect or success

elude

verb

formal if something such as success eludes you, you do not manage to achieve it

evade

verb

mainly literary if something such as success or happiness evades you, you do not succeed in achieving it

fade

verb

mainly journalism if a player or team fades, they stop performing well and do not win

fail

verb

used about actions or plans

fail

verb

to not do something that people expect you to do

fail

verb

to be unsuccessful in achieving a satisfactory level or standard

fail

verb

if something such as a business or a relationship fails, it has a lot of problems and can no longer continue

fall at the first/final hurdle

to fail at the beginning or near the end of something that you are trying to do

fall behind

to fail to do something or pay something at the time that you should

fall between two stools

to fail because of not definitely being either one thing or another

fall down

if something such as an argument or system falls down, it fails because a particular part of it is weak or not correct

fall down on the job

to do a particular job or activity in a careless way so that you are not successful

fall flat

to not succeed in entertaining someone or making them laugh

fall flat on your face

to fail completely, especially in an embarrassing way

fall/go by the wayside

to not be successful or effective any longer

fall on stony ground

to receive a negative reaction from other people

fall to bits/pieces

if a theory, system, or relationship falls to pieces, it no longer works

fuck up

offensive an extremely offensive expression that means to make a serious mistake, or to fail completely

get/go nowhere

to fail to achieve something, or to fail to be successful

go awry

to not happen in the way that was hoped or planned

go by the board

if a plan, idea, or activity goes by the board, it is stopped or forgotten

go down/fall/drop like ninepins

used for saying that a lot of people suddenly all become ill or all fail at something

go down like a lead balloon

to completely fail to please someone

(go) down the pan

to fail, or to be spoiled

go down the plughole

British to be completely lost or wasted

go down the tubes/tube

to fail completely

go for nothing

to achieve nothing, or to be completely wasted

go off the boil

to become less successful than before

go pear-shaped

to become unsuccessful

go/run off the rails

to no longer work as planned or intended

go southwards

to get less popular, successful, or valuable

go to rack and ruin

to become less successful

go to the wall

to fail, especially when this involves losing all your business and money

go/turn sour

to be unsuccessful, or to not develop in a satisfactory way

go up in smoke

if your plans or dreams go up in smoke, they are destroyed

go wrong

used when a problem happens and causes the failure of something such as a relationship or a business

have had it

if someone has had it, they are in serious trouble, or they are going to fail

have had your/its day

to have stopped being successful, effective, or fashionable, especially because of being no longer young

hit the buffers

to fail

implode

verb

if something such as an organization or an economic system implodes, it is completely destroyed by things that are happening within it

lag

verb

to not be as successful or advanced as another person, organization, or group

lay an egg

to fail completely in what you are trying to do

lead nowhere

to have no successful or useful result

lose ground

to go into a position where you are less strong, advanced, or successful than someone else

meet your Waterloo

to fail at something that you have always been successful at until now

miscarry

verb

mainly literary if a plan or activity miscarries, it fails or goes wrong

misfire

verb

if a plan or activity misfires, it goes wrong or does not have the result that you wanted

miss

verb

to fail to catch something that is being thrown or given to you

nosedive

verb

if something nosedives, it suddenly becomes a lot less successful

not get someone anywhere

used for saying that a particular action or type of behaviour does not help someone to achieve anything

self-destruct

verb

informal to do something to harm yourself or to make yourself fail

sink without trace

to disappear or fail completely

slip through your fingers

if something such as a chance, opportunity, or prize slips through your fingers, you fail to get it or to take advantage of it

something ends with a whimper

if something ends with a whimper, it ends without success and no one notices or cares much

sour

verb

if a relationship or situation sours, or if something sours it, it stops being successful or satisfactory

sputter

verb

if an activity sputters, it continues with difficulty and seems likely to stop

strike out

mainly Americaninformal to be unsuccessful in trying to do something

tank

verb

mainly American if something such as a product tanks, it fails completely

totter

verb

if a system or process totters, it becomes weak and looks as if it will soon stop or be destroyed

underperform

verb

to be less successful than people expect

unravel

verb

if a process or project unravels, it begins to fail

the wheels come off

used for saying that things start to fail or go wrong, especially after a period of success

wither on the vine

to fail, especially at an early stage, because of a lack of support or interest

BuzzWord

hygge

a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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Open Dictionary

sofar

a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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