on the ropes


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on the ropes

On the verge of defeat or collapse, helpless, as in They acknowledged that their campaign was on the ropes, and they could not possibly win the election . This expression, alluding to a boxer forced back to the ropes of the ring and leaning against them for support, has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.
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on the ropes

COMMON If a person or organization is on the ropes, they are very close to failing or being defeated. With the government on the ropes, the opposition should be miles ahead. Far fewer tourists are coming to this country and as a consequence, our hotel industry is on the ropes. Note: The image here is of a boxer who has been pushed back against the ropes around the edge of the ring.
See also: on, rope

on the ropes

1. Sports Knocked against the ropes that enclose a boxing ring.
2. On the verge of defeat or collapse; hopeless or powerless.
See also: on, rope