drop the ball


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drop the ball

 
1. . Lit. [in a ball game of some type] to let the ball get away or fall out of one's grasp. Good grief! Bill dropped the ball, just as he was about to score!
2. Fig. to make a blunder; to fail in some way. Everything was going fine in the election until my campaign manager dropped the ball. You can't trust John to do the job right. He's always dropping the ball.
See also: ball, drop

drop the ball

to fail to keep working to reach a goal Public schools have pretty much dropped the ball on arts education.
Etymology: based on games like football in which all play stops if the ball is dropped
See also: ball, drop

drop the ball

  (American informal)
to make a mistake, especially by doing something in a stupid or careless way For god's sake don't drop the ball - we're relying on you.
See also: ball, drop

drop the ball

Make an error; miss an opportunity. For example, She really dropped the ball when she forgot to call back, or He dropped the ball, turning down their offer. This expression comes from sports where a player who fails to catch a ball is charged with an error. Its use for more general kinds of mistakes dates from about 1950.
See also: ball, drop

drop the ball

tv. to fail at something; to allow something to fail. I didn’t want to be the one who dropped the ball, but I knew that someone would flub up.
See also: ball, drop

drop the ball

To make a mistake or fail to do something important.
See also: ball, drop
References in periodicals archive ?
You drop the ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of (i) the point where the original ball entered the hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.
The difference is you basically just drop the ball straight down and you kick it as hard as you can, and because of the way you drop it you can't kick it as far.
If you want to win a match you can't afford to drop the ball like we did so many times.
He was preparing to play again when playing partner Billy Andrade asked him if he was sure he did not have to drop the ball a second time.
But Painter caught the United defence asleep and dispossessed Bradley to drop the ball on to the head of Farrell to score the winner in the last few seconds.
Drop the ball to the ground and let it bounce so your observer can spot how high it bounces alongside the ruler.
By being literally in the middle of the supply chain, we can't ever afford to drop the ball.
He knows I don't intend to drop the ball, and he said, `I'll keep throwing to you,' '' Williams said.
I saw her drop the ball out of the corner of my eye, so I took off.
Once, the 7-0 Jim lifted his son to the basket and let him drop the ball through the hoop.