be on the ropes

(redirected from was on the ropes)

be on the ropes

To be in a vulnerable position and nearing failure or collapse. The phrase comes from boxing, in which a boxer may use the ropes around the ring for support. That team is definitely on the ropes—they're losing 10-1! Now that everyone knows he embezzled money from the company, his career is on the ropes.
See also: on, rope