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A sign or indication of disapproval. The phrase can refer to the actual gesture, which carries the same meaning, or can be used figuratively. I know the committee approved our idea, but the CEO ultimately gave it the thumbs down. Getting a thumbs down to yet another college application has really disheartened me.
1. a sign of disapproval. The board gave our proposal a thumbs down. The administration's tax bill got a thumbs down in Congress.
2. disapproving; negative. It was thumbs down, and I was disappointed. The thumbs-down decision was a victory for good sense.
(give somebody/something/get) the thumbs ˈup/ˈdownused to show that something has been accepted/rejected or that it is/is not a success: I asked him whether I could borrow the car, and he gave me the thumbs up. ♢ I’m afraid it’s thumbs down for your new proposal — the boss doesn’t like it. ♢ We’ve got the thumbs up for the new swimming pool.In contests in ancient Rome the public put their thumbs up if they wanted a gladiator to live, and down if they wanted him to be killed.
1. n. a sign of disapproval. (see also turn thumbs down (on someone/something).) The board gave our proposal a thumbs down.
2. mod. disapproving; negative. It was thumbs down, and I was disappointed.