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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Success - Failure

(Idioms page 3 :  disaster written all over  →  will never fly)

disaster written all over If something, such as a plan or idea, has disaster written all over it, it is thought to be heading for complete failure, or will cause a lot of trouble.
Mary's idea of a holiday with her in-laws has disaster written all over it!
all downhill
downhill all the way
If something is all downhill or downhill all the way, it is very easy to achieve considering the difficulties encountered beforehand.
The hardest part for the burglars was turning off the alarm system.  After that it was all downhill.
draw a blank If you look for or try to remember something, and draw a blank, you fail to find it.
I nearly won the quiz; unfortunately I drew a blank at the last question!
every dog has its day This expression means that everyone can be successful at something at some time in their life.
I didn't win this time, but I'll be lucky one day.  Every dog has its day.
fall at first hurdle If you fall at the first hurdle, you fail to overcome the first difficulty encountered.
Scott fell at the first hurdle.  He didn't study enough and failed his first  exam.
fall flat If a joke, a story or a form of entertainment falls flat, it does not amuse people, or fails to have the effect that was intended.
He made a few attempts at humour during his speech but most of his jokes fell flat.
fall from grace To say that someone has fallen from grace means that they have done something wrong, immoral or unacceptable, and as a result  have lost their good reputation.
The Finance Minister fell from grace as a result of a sex scandal.
fall on one's sword If you fall on your sword, you accept the consequences of an unsuccessful or wrong action.
The organiser of the referendum resigned when the poor results were announced.  It was said that he' fell on his sword'.
feather in one's cap To describe someone's achievement as a feather in their cap means that it is something they can be proud of.
The overwhelming victory of the team was a feather in the cap for the new manager.
fight a losing battle If someone is fighting a losing battle, they are trying to do something even when there is little chance of succeeding.
The headmaster is fighting a losing battle trying to ban mobile phones at school.
(reach) first base When you get to (or reach) first base, you make progress or begin to have success with someone or something.
If you go to the interview dressed like that, you won't get to first base!
flash in the pan If you refer to somebody's success as a flash in the pan, you mean that it is not likely to be repeated.
The manager hoped that the team's unexpected victory was not just
a flash in the pan.
will never fly To say that something will never fly means that it will not be successful.
He's got incredible ideas, but none that will ever fly!
   
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