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not with a bang but with a whimper

In an anti-climactic way. Typically used to describe the end of something. The phrase is taken from the last stanza of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper." We all thought the championship was going to be a close game, but it ended up being a blowout, and the season ended not with a bang but with a whimper.
See also: bang, but, not, whimper

not with a bang but a whimper

If something happens not with a bang but a whimper, it is less effective or exciting than people expected or intended. The Cannes film festival approached its climax yesterday not with a bang but a whimper, as thousands of disappointed festival-goers left early. Note: You can also say that something happened with a bang and not a whimper to mean the opposite. Should the monarchy go, it would be with a memorable bang and not a whimper. Note: This is the last line of T.S. Eliot's poem `The Hollow Men' (1925): `This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.'
See also: bang, but, not, whimper
References in periodicals archive ?
But what the Globe writer had in his head was Thomas Stearns Eliot's "Hollow Men," and its droning close: "This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.
West Ham's six-year stay in the Barclays Premier League has ended with a whimper as Boudewijn Zenden signed off from Sunderland by helping them to an easy win at Upton Park.
STEWART CINK insists he savoured every second of his last four days as Open champ - despite relinquishing the Claret Jug with a whimper.
Chesterfield boss Lee Richardson said: "It feels like we have gone out with a whimper in this game.
Almost without a whimper, the Superlambanana is staying in Liverpool.
It's disgusting to watch the family cry and whimper on TV about how they've been wronged by the LAPD.
It is, as far as I'm concerned, better to lose with style, panache and a sense of adventure than it is to lose with a whimper as Newcastle did on Sunday.
Others worry that the collapse of the wall separating church and state could result in the great American experiment ending with a whimper.
ANASTASIA MYSKINA'S defence of the French Open crown she won in glorious fashion last year ended with a whimper yesterday as she crashed out in the opening round.
Reading like a list of inevitable disasters, this book outlines all the possible ways the world might end--with a bang or a whimper.
It might end with a whimper this June 30, when a $20 billion add-on passed last year, with $10 billion earmarked for long-term care, expires.
THE punt sank with a whimper rather than going out with a bang last night as the Irish Republic shrugged aside its old currency to fully embrace the euro.
This fall, CoGS's first motion to go in camera passed without a whimper or any indication at all that members grasped what is at stake when this happens.
There was the odd bark or whimper and a little lead-tugging, but most dogs were well behaved.
She can slickly place display ads in page layouts and make nicely fitted stories out of the motley electronic jots and tittles that we editors give to her--and so far without a snarl or a whimper.