behind the eight ball


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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 ?
It's left them behind the eight ball against a side that has scored 11 goals in six away Europa League ties.
We have put ourselves behind the eight ball but the character in the dressing room suggests we are not out of it and we are starting to believe that upstairs.
We're behind the eight ball, we understand that, we are facing the best in the world but hopefully we can cause an upset.
For me being defending champion, I don't even like that word, defending, because it puts you already behind the eight ball.
Six balls later Hamid Hassan sent the other Bangladesh opener Anamul Haque, as the home team were placed firmly behind the eight ball from the beginning.
We were behind the eight ball for quite a lot of this game, but we fought hard today and had a little bit of luck with the weather.
But the amount of overs we lost in the game (to rain) really put us behind the eight ball.
We were behind the eight ball from the start but we'll go away and lick our wounds and come back stronger for it.
Neal Wilkins, VCbet: "We were well behind the eight ball after three races and yet again the Coolmore factor proved massively expensive.
Woods, who has won the last six majors in which he began with a score in the 60s, said, 'I was behind the eight ball early, but we all understand it's a long way and you just have to keep plugging away.
Worcester, handicapped by becoming the first team to bat second under the newly-installed permanent lights of Sophia Gardens, were always behind the eight ball from that moment on.
Mike Yuan, director for the Centre of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Research at Lakehead University, says tourism in the Thunder Bay region is really behind the eight ball right now.
This is going to be one of the best years, but we're still behind the eight ball,'' he said.
We are behind the eight ball big time now, but until it's mathematically settled you can rest assured we will battle on.
Companies who continue to spend millions of dollars on new hardware rather than implementing more effective application and system designs will find themselves behind the eight ball.