circle the drain

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circle the drain

To be in a state of severe deterioration such that one is approaching inevitable ruin, failure, or death. Usually used in the continuous form. The company's closure was inevitable, as it has been circling the drain for the last six months. Her political career began to circle the drain after news of her affair came to public light. He was already circling the drain when the decision was made to take him off life support.
See also: circle, drain

ˌcircle the ˈdrain

(American English) (usually used in the progressive tenses) if something circles the drain it continues to become worse so that it may not be able to survive much longer: It appears the governor’s political career is circling the drain.
See also: circle, drain

circling (the drain)

tv. & in. to be in the final process of dying; to be in extremis. (Jocular but crude hospital jargon.) Get Mrs. Smith’s son on the phone. She’s circling the drain.
See also: circle, drain
References in periodicals archive ?
If you circle the drain enough times, eventually you go down the plug hole.
The track - Circle the Drain off her Teenage Dream album - didn't go down too well with Travie at the time.
The track - Circle the Drain, on her Teenage Dream album - didn't go down too well with Travie at the time.
Even without the Catwoman outfit she'd donned, attitude-laced rocker Circle The Drain was a stand-out, while E.
So I'm sure unsuspecting parents were thrilled to regularly hear the f word on Circle The Drain.
But if the country continues to circle the drain, robust intelligence collection and boots on the ground may be required to crack AQAP.
For the third time in exactly a month, Lowe had watched that near-perfect performance circle the drain and vanish down a black hole, never to be recovered and, to hear him tell it, never to be remembered.
In fact, gay men are almost as likely to circle the drain of conformity as straight men.
Perry performed wearing a massive peacock tail during Peacock, and in a sequinned Catwoman outfit for the hard-edged, Joan Jett-style Circle The Drain and the laser-beam electro of E.
But her wild side has its limits, as shown on the foulmouthed, tough-talking Circle The Drain, an angry tirade at a pill-popping louse.
The choices are so great now, the ante has been raised so high for what customers expect, if you don't keep pace, you can circle the drain incredibly fast.
Such regulated companies would be required to plan for an orderly resolution should they begin to circle the drain, BestWeek said.
The lines in Circle The Drain - reportedly about the Gym Class Heroes frontman - include: "You could have been the greatest/But you'd rather get wasted/"You fall asleep during foreplay/cause the pills you take are more your fort.