behind the eight ball

(redirected from Behind the eight-ball)

behind the eight ball

In a challenging situation; at a disadvantage. An "eight ball" is one of the numbered balls used in the game of pool, and the last one supposed to be hit into a pocket. If the eight ball is accidentally hit into a pocket prematurely, the player will lose, and it therefore needs to be avoided. If we don't leave early tomorrow, we'll be behind the eight ball, and I doubt we'll reach the cabin by dusk. Because I got the flu, I'm behind the eight ball with my Christmas shopping.
See also: ball, behind, eight

*behind the eight ball

 
1. Fig. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. (Alludes to the eight ball in pool, which in certain games cannot be touched without penalty. *Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I'm behind the eight ball again and can't see how to relieve my dilemma. John is behind the eight ball because he started writing his term paper far too late.
2. Fig. broke. Sorry, I'm really behind the eight ball this month. I can't make a contribution. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; have someone ~; put someone ~.) I was behind the eight ball again and couldn't make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In trouble or an awkward position, out of luck, as in His check bounced, leaving Jim behind the eight ball with his landlord. The term comes from pocket billiards or pool, where in certain games if the number eight ball is between the "cue ball" and "object ball" the player cannot make a straight shot. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

AMERICAN
If someone or something is behind the eight ball, they are in trouble or in a difficult situation. If a child doesn't get the basics in primary school, they are way behind the eight ball. Note: In the game of pool, the `eight ball' is a ball with a number 8 on it, which players have to pot (= put in the net) last. If the eight ball is between the cue ball (= white ball that you hit) and the ball which the player is trying to hit, the player is likely to hit the eight ball first, which is a foul shot.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

at a disadvantage; baffled. North American
The black ball is numbered eight in a variety of the game of pool known as eight-ball pool .
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the ˈeight ball

(American English) in a difficult situation, with many risks and disadvantages: Basically, I made mistakes and put us right behind the eight ball.
In the game of pool, if you hit the eight ball (= the black ball) into one of the holes at the wrong time, you lose the game. If your ball is behind the eight ball, the risks of doing this are greater.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

1. mod. in trouble; in a weak or losing position. I’m behind the eight ball again.
2. mod. broke. I was behind the eight ball again and couldn’t make my car payment.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

Slang
In an unfavorable or uncomfortable position.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In a bad situation, bad luck. The term, originating in the United States in the first half of the 1900s, comes from a form of pool in which all the balls (which are numbered) must be pocketed in a certain order. The only exception is the No. 8 ball, which is black. If another player touches the eight ball he or she is penalized. Therefore, if the eight ball is in front of the ball one is trying to pocket, one is in a difficult position.
See also: ball, behind, eight

behind the eight ball

In a precarious situation. In certain games of pool or billiards, a player whose cue ball (the ball that strikes the other balls) is behind the 8 ball is unlikely to make any shot. Therefore, to be behind the eight ball is to be in a losing situation.
See also: ball, behind, eight
References in periodicals archive ?
Alessio is behind the eight-ball even before his first Premiership clash against Rangers tomorrow.
"We lost three or four wickets in that first 40 minutes and that put us behind the eight-ball.
I told them if you don't walk on the court expecting to win the game, you're already behind the eight-ball. That's something we're going to work on.
The Sultans were cautious in their start and were behind the eight-ball after being two down for 52 despite a 47-run stand between left-handed opener Shan Masood and Laurie Evans.
"We are not giving our bowlers anything to bowl at so straight away we are behind the eight-ball. In both games we have lost clusters of wickets and you can't afford to do that.
"We did a lot of things right at the weekend so we're not way behind the eight-ball. We've just got to tidy up in a few areas.
He said: "At one stage we were well behind the eight-ball so to have scrapped our way out of it was very pleasing.
If they do pull off the victory it will just be par for the course for Durham, who have found themselves behind the eight-ball in their last five matches.
"Unfortunately, we gave them three power-play goals and that put us behind the eight-ball.''
I didn't become a doctor to get rich, but starting out behind the eight-ball is never good.
Trailing 1-0 in the series, a disciplined England attack held Australia to 273 for five at stumps at Adelaide Oval, after being behind the eight-ball before tea with the hosts having moved serenely to 155-1.
"In Dunedin, we were behind the eight-ball because we didn't bat very well for two sessions," he said.
He said: "To be 80 for six and 120 for eight you're behind the eight-ball, but Broad and (Graeme) Swann have done that sort of stuff for us a few times before and it's hard for captains to set fields for.
We almost got in a position to put them under pressure on the last day having been behind the eight-ball throughout, with Mike Powell playing especially well in the second innings.
Hardly a mention, hardly a word in the budget about a group in Canada that is so far behind the eight-ball that it will take much time, effort and resources to get it even close to parity with mainstream Canadians.