behind the eight ball

(redirected from Behind the eight-ball)

behind the eight ball

In a challenging situation; at a disadvantage. An "eight ball" is one of the numbered balls used in the game of pool, and the last one supposed to be hit into a pocket. If the eight ball is accidentally hit into a pocket prematurely, the player will lose, and it therefore needs to be avoided. If we don't leave early tomorrow, we'll be behind the eight ball, and I doubt we'll reach the cabin by dusk. Because I got the flu, I'm behind the eight ball with my Christmas shopping.
See also: ball, behind, eight

*behind the eight ball

 
1. Fig. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. (Alludes to the eight ball in pool, which in certain games cannot be touched without penalty. *Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I'm behind the eight ball again and can't see how to relieve my dilemma. John is behind the eight ball because he started writing his term paper far too late.
2. Fig. broke. Sorry, I'm really behind the eight ball this month. I can't make a contribution. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I was behind the eight ball again and couldn't make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In trouble or an awkward position, out of luck, as in His check bounced, leaving Jim behind the eight ball with his landlord. The term comes from pocket billiards or pool, where in certain games if the number eight ball is between the "cue ball" and "object ball" the player cannot make a straight shot. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

AMERICAN
If someone or something is behind the eight ball, they are in trouble or in a difficult situation. If a child doesn't get the basics in primary school, they are way behind the eight ball. Note: In the game of pool, the `eight ball' is a ball with a number 8 on it, which players have to pot (= put in the net) last. If the eight ball is between the cue ball (= white ball that you hit) and the ball which the player is trying to hit, the player is likely to hit the eight ball first, which is a foul shot.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

at a disadvantage; baffled. North American
The black ball is numbered eight in a variety of the game of pool known as eight-ball pool .
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the ˈeight ball

(American English) in a difficult situation, with many risks and disadvantages: Basically, I made mistakes and put us right behind the eight ball.
In the game of pool, if you hit the eight ball (= the black ball) into one of the holes at the wrong time, you lose the game. If your ball is behind the eight ball, the risks of doing this are greater.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

1. mod. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. I’m behind the eight ball again.
2. mod. broke. I was behind the eight ball again and couldn’t make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

Slang
In an unfavorable or uncomfortable position.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In a precarious situation. In certain games of pool or billiards, a player whose cue ball (the ball that strikes the other balls) is behind the 8 ball is unlikely to make any shot. Therefore, to be behind the eight ball is to be in a losing situation.
See also: ball, behind, eight
References in periodicals archive ?
Like many members of the Bulldogs boys basketball team, the state-champion football players from Batavia entered the winter sport season truly behind the eight-ball.
We are not giving our bowlers anything to bowl at so straight away we are behind the eight-ball.
We did a lot of things right at the weekend so we're not way behind the eight-ball.
He said: "At one stage we were well behind the eight-ball so to have scrapped our way out of it was very pleasing.
Unfortunately, we gave them three power-play goals and that put us behind the eight-ball.
I didn't become a doctor to get rich, but starting out behind the eight-ball is never good.
Trailing 1-0 in the series, a disciplined England attack held Australia to 273 for five at stumps at Adelaide Oval, after being behind the eight-ball before tea with the hosts having moved serenely to 155-1.
In Dunedin, we were behind the eight-ball because we didn't bat very well for two sessions," he said.
To make another change at this time of the year behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would make it more difficult.
He said: "To be 80 for six and 120 for eight you're behind the eight-ball, but Broad and (Graeme) Swann have done that sort of stuff for us a few times before and it's hard for captains to set fields for.
England captain Strauss said: "To be 80 for six and 120 for eight you're behind the eight-ball.
We almost got in a position to put them under pressure on the last day having been behind the eight-ball throughout, with Mike Powell playing especially well in the second innings.
Hardly a mention, hardly a word in the budget about a group in Canada that is so far behind the eight-ball that it will take much time, effort and resources to get it even close to parity with mainstream Canadians.
The way Broad is taking early wickets puts the opposition under pressure, and the way we bowled in the middle overs and fielded - all that kind of stuff - meant we were creating pressure and always had them behind the eight-ball.
Admitting a lack of dialogue with current players has left the Falcons behind the eight-ball in the past, new head coach Tait refused to allow history to repeat itself.