go down in flames

go down in flames


  • to fail spectacularly
  • to end suddenly and completely
  • be utterly ruined or wrecked


  1. The company went down in flames after reports came out that it had been financing illegal activities.
  2. The project went down in flames when the team lead resigned.
  3. The plan looks good, but it would go down in flames if any of the stakeholders withdraw from participating.
  4. The ambitious project started by the previous government went down in flames as soon as the new government was voted in.
  5. He was once a top athlete, but his career went down in flames when he was caught using drugs.
  6. After two years of successful performances, the band went down in flames over disagreements between the members.
  7. After reports of another attack, the ongoing peace talks are sure to go down in flames.
  8. The sports club went down in flames after the players and fans joined in protest against the corrupt management.

This phrase alludes to a plane that crashes to the ground and burns. It originated around the 1940s, when many combat planes in World War II met with this fate.

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Idiom of the Day

come to a pretty pass

Meaning: a bad situation

Example: Things have come to such a pretty pass that nowadays parents are afraid of advising their children. Read on


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