go down in flames

go down in flames

 
1. Lit. [for a plane] to crash. The enemy fighter planes went down in flames, ending the battle. The pilot and crew went down in flames near the air-port.
2. . Fig. to fail spectacularly. The whole project went down in flames. Todd wentdown in flames in his efforts to win the heart of Marsha.
See also: down, flame

go down in flames

also go up in flames
to fail or end suddenly and completely We've seen two big mass-transit plans go down in flames in the last two years. The idea of self-respect went up in flames a long time ago.
Related vocabulary: go up in smoke
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of a plane that goes down in flames (falls to the ground and burns)
See also: down, flame

go down in flames

in. to fail spectacularly. (see also shoot someone down in flames, crash and burn.) The whole team went down in flames.
See also: down, flame