down and out

(redirected from a down and out)

down and out

Destitute or otherwise devoid of any resources. Primarily heard in US. Many of these homeless people have been down and out for years, with no prospects of finding work or permanent shelter.
See also: and, down, out

down and out

Lacking funds or prospects; destitute, penniless. For example, After losing his job, car, and home, he was completely down and out. This term probably originated in boxing, where it alludes to the fighter who is knocked down and stays down for a given time, thereby losing the bout. [c. 1900] Also see down for the count.
See also: and, down, out

down and out

COMMON
1. If someone is down and out, they have nowhere to live, usually have no job, and have no real hope of improving their situation. Having been down and out himself, Vern Barry has insights into others who are down and out, and he's helped many move on to permanent jobs. I know what it is to be down and out. One time back in the thirties, I was working in New York and I didn't have enough to rent a room. Note: You can call a person in this situation a down-and-out. In the glow of the side lights, he looked unshaven, shabby, a down-and-out.
2. In a competition or contest, if someone is down and out, they have been beaten, or they are losing and have no hope of winning. I am sending you clippings from which you will see that Ted appears to be down and out as candidate for governor. Leicester had looked down and out when they trailed 12-3 with only 12 minutes left. Note: You can say that someone is down but not out when they are losing but still have some hope of winning. Rangers manager Walter Smith last night declared his side down but not out of the European Cup after their defeat by AEK in Athens. The Democrats are down, but not out. Note: If boxers are down and out, they have been knocked down and have failed to get up before the referee counted to ten, and have therefore lost the contest.
See also: and, down, out