go down for the third time

go down for the third time

Fig. to be just on the verge of failing. (From the notion that a boxer who is knocked down three times in one round normally loses the fight.) I was going down for the third time when I thought of a plan that would save my job.
See also: down, third, time
References in periodicals archive ?
There are a lot of former swimmers in danger of drowning today--major corporations, once the stalwarts of industry, have foundered and local, state and federal governments seem ready to go down for the third time, threatening to take Joe and Joan Q.