(one) can't win

(redirected from they can't win)

(one) can't win

1. One is unable to find or create any success; one has been constantly and/or thoroughly defeated, bested, belittled, etc., in recent times. So Mary divorced John after their company went under, and then his mother died a week later? Man, that guy can't win lately. That's the third manuscript to be rejected by the publishers; I guess I just can't win.
2. One cannot please someone or everyone. The kids aren't happy if they don't have the same fancy gadgets as their friends, and Mary's not happy if I buy the things for them—I can't win! First he criticizes me for spending too much time at home, then he criticizes me for being away too often with my friends. I just can't win with him.
See also: win

you can't win

Also, you just can't win. Whatever one does is wrong or not enough, as in Every time I block one of the woodchuck's holes, I find another; you just can't win. [First half of 1900s] For a synonym, see damned if I do, damned if I don't.
See also: win

I, you, etc. ˌcan’t ˈwin

(spoken) whatever you do, you cannot succeed completely or please everyone: If I spend time with Phil, Jane’s unhappy. If I spend time with her, he’s jealous. I just can’t win. ▶ ˌno-ˈwin adj. (of a situation, policy, etc.) that will end badly whatever you decide to do: They’re in a no-win situation at the moment. Whatever they do, someone criticizes them.
See also: win
References in periodicals archive ?
In short, this is not only a must-win game for Sunderland it's one they can't win on all known form.
In most races there are a number of horses who can't win, and connections know they can't win.
The Lakers will be staring at a four-game losing streak if they can't win Tuesday at Dallas.
One of the most common is their small team doing the bids just is so inexperienced and/or unskilled they can't win.
It gets into our very minds, our own psychology--this internalized feeling by millions of people that `[third party candidates] can't win because they can't get our votes, and they can't get our votes because they can't win.
We made sure England could not win it, now the Scots have made sure we can't win it - so I see no reason why they can't win it"
Louisiana legislators have decided to squander taxpayers' money on a bet they can't win," noted Bo Andersen, president of Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), the not-for-profit international trade association for the retailers and distributors of console and computer video games and DVDs.
In short, this is not only y a must-win game for Sunderland it's one they can't win on all known form.
Bonaventure, said the win over Hart a combination of offense and defense, ``but if they can't score, they can't win.
Yes, scoring looks good in the stats, and that's what gets most of the attention, but if you don't let them score, they can't win.
You can't say they can't win, you know what I mean?
So the Panorama City Graffiti Busters just keep going, waging a turf war they know they can't win, but one they can't afford to quit fighting, either.
The defense is most important, because if teams can't score, then they can't win.
We want to continue to play good solid defense because if a team can't score, they can't win.
I'm not saying they can't win one with Jones, but Richmond would make the Lakers a better team.
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