(one, two, three) strikes against (someone or something)

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(one, two, three) strikes against (someone or something)

An allusion to baseball, in which a batter is out from the play if they miss hitting the ball three times ("strike out").
1. One, two, or three aspects of someone or something that keep them or it from being completely successful. And the campus is really ugly, so that's two strikes against this college right off the bat. You should know that investors see your close relationship with Big Oil as a strike against your company. In my mind, the candidate has had three strikes against him ever since he started defending those wild conspiracy theories.
2. One, two, or three mistakes, transgressions, or infractions that someone or something did, especially if all three together will or could lead to failure. He's got two strikes against him for coming into work late. If he does it again, the boss said he'd be fired. A: "I can't believe you don't like Ken anymore." B: "Well, he did blow me off for our first date—that's one major strike against him." Claire still doesn't have that report finished? All right, that's three strikes against her—Holly is going to take over from now on.
See also: strike
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*two strikes against

1. two strikes on a baseball batter, three being the number that will put the batter "out." (Such a player is in a vulnerable position. *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Sammy has two strikes against him and might just strike out.
2. Fig. a critical number of things against one; a position wherein success is unlikely or where the success of the next move is crucial. (Fig. on {2} *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Poor Bob had two strikes against him when he tried to explain where he was last night. I can't win. I've got two strikes against me before I start.
See also: strike, two
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

two strikes against

Strong factors opposing, as in There are two strikes against her possibility of a promotion. This term comes from baseball, where a batter is allowed three strikes at a fairly pitched ball before being called out; thus, a batter with two strikes has but one more chance to hit a fair ball. The figurative use dates from the early 1900s.
See also: strike, two
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

three strikes against someone

If there are three strikes against someone or something, there are three reasons for them not to be successful. Note: In baseball, a `strike' is a legal pitch or ball which the batter fails to hit. The batter is out after three strikes. The grocery business has three strikes against it: (1) high selection costs;(2) high delivery costs; and (3) low margins. Note: If there are two strikes against someone or something, there are two reasons why it is difficult, but not impossible, for them to be successful, or they have only one more chance of succeeding. The hotel has two strikes against it. One, it's a very ugly concrete building. Second, its unattractive location.
See also: someone, strike, three
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Attorney Bellotti is joined by Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree and former Massachusetts Department of Corrections Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy in his sentiments, both of whom were vocal critics of the Three Strikes provision, arguing it would exacerbate prison overcrowding, allow for inappropriate and disproportionate punishments, and cost Massachusetts millions of dollars.
Sanja Naumovska comments for Utrinski Vesnik that following the pale 1 May, the workers woke up over the last few days and announced that as much as three strikes will be held this week in the capital.
So the continued debate in Boston regarding the proposed "Three Strikes and You're Out" bills, which passed the Massachusetts House and Senate last year, will have an impact on communities in Central Massachusetts.
A "THREE strikes" burglar who targeted three pubs in one night has been jailed for more than two years.
three strikes come a day after four missiles struck militant convoy
Three strikes by US drones have killed at least 28 people in the tribal region in South Waziristan.
The Tories unveiled a "three strikes" policy as they accused Labour of wasting pounds 30bn on fraud and error in the benefits system since 1997.
The Tories unveiled a "three strikes" policy as shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May pledged a tough crackdown on repeat offenders.
I am particularly interested in constitutional issues raised by California's so-called "Three Strikes" law, which is widely recognized as the harshest and most broadly applied (noncapital) sentencing scheme in the country.
ISLAMABAD -- Culprits looted cash and valuables in three strikes on Saturday, police said.
That figure might be short of expectations, as shares are trading lower and one player sells 7.5K Nov 22 calls at 89c and 12.5K Nov 23 calls at 51c to buy 15K Nov 27 calls for 7c, likely closing a bullish position as open interest is sufficient to cover in all three strikes. Dec 22, 23, and 24 calls are also drawing interest.
In "Three Strikes, You're Dead", private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend.
In Taiz province, the fighter jets launched three strikes east of Saber district.
Written by illustrator and cartoonist, Joe Berger, this graphic novel centres around Sam Lyttle, a character whose propensity to tell lies rather than face the truth (which he sees as an immovable wrinkly elephant) gets him into all sorts of trouble, not just with his family but with the school bully, Pete (three strikes) Feeny.
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