(to be) on the ropes

Idiom Definition

"to be on the ropes"

to be very close to defeat or failure

Idiom Definition - to be on the ropes


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to be on the ropes

Cellphone Company N has been having trouble in recent times.  It produced a cellphone that did not function as advertised.  It also has not been keeping up with the competition to develop new devices and improved technology.  As a result, the value of the stock in the company has fallen dramatically and sales are the lowest ever.  It is possible that Cellphone Company N will go out of business.

Cellphone Company N is on the ropes.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to be on the ropes

I am in the middle of a table tennis game with my friend.  My friend is so much better than me at table tennis.  I have been playing as best as I can but the score is 19 points for my friend and only 5 points for me.  The game is over when one competitor reaches a score of 21.

I think that I am on the ropes.


to be on the ropes - Usage:


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to be on the ropes - Gerund Form:

Being on the ropes can be considered to be not a very comfortable situation.

to be on the ropes - Examples:

1)  To be sure, Hostess was already on the ropes and under private equity management due to filing for bankruptcy in January.

2)  With Obama on the ropes for many reasons, the urgency of their efforts greatly exceeds those of previous campaigns.

3)  I left the Mac OS many years ago when Apple was on the ropes and threw my hat in the ring with Windows.

4)  Is it any wonder the Republican Party is on the ropes, look at the crazy people who have supported it.

5)  THQ had a wonderful show for a company everyone claims is on the ropes

6)  President Obama is on the ropes and fading. All the signs are there.

7)  We have lost our mojo. Post-industrial capitalism is on the ropes but still ducking and weaving and avoiding every blow.

8)  Hope he realizes he's back on the ropes now and doesn't have a choice but TO fight.

9)  Thank you Mr. Bush! Al Qaeda is on the ropes, Saddam is no more, Iran will implode in the not-too-distant future.

10)  For all the brave talk, the site is on the ropes. Through December, WikiLeaks still wasn't collecting new documents from potential whistle-blowers.

11)  He won a bunch of primaries and had Romney on the ropes.

12)  I fear big business the most. Big labor is on the ropes and does not have near the power it once had.

13)  Great counterargument there. You sure got me on the ropes with your cutting logic and erudite debating skills.

14)  England, after all, was on the ropes by the time America came in to help out.

15)  Quite apart from the current economic crisis, capitalism is on the ropes because it relies on consumerism.

16)  The global economic recovery is on the ropes, battered by political conflicts within and across countries.

17)  Pension funds all over the country are on the ropes.

18)  Excellent article. With the Murdoch method on the ropes, the bigots of the Mail should be exposed.

19) The First Minister should by rights be on the ropes at this stage of the political cycle. 

20)  To put bank regulators and politicians on the ropes will need some skilled and cohesive questioning.