go belly up(redirected from went belly-up)
go belly up
1. To break or malfunction; to die, fall apart, or cease to work. ("Belly up" is sometimes hyphenated.) Sorry, Mark, I'd love to give you a lift to the airport, but my car has gone belly up on me again. It looks like our co-op might be going belly-up if we aren't granted a licence for our communal work premises.
2. By extension, to have a poor, undesired, or ruinous outcome; to fail completely or not come together at all. We were all set to have our picnic on Saturday, but the weather went belly up and we had to cancel at the last minute. The merger deal between the two companies went belly-up when it came to light that one of the CEOs had been dodging tax obligations for several years.
go belly up
to fail My company announced layoffs, so I found another job, and then my new company went belly up.
Usage notes: usually said about business and other organizations
Etymology: based on the idea of a dead animal found lying on its back, with its belly (stomach) facing up
go belly up(informal)
if a business goes belly up, it fails Factories and farms went belly up because of the debt crisis.
go belly upverb
See turn belly up