be hung out to dry

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be hung out to dry

To be deserted or abandoned in a troubling situation. I was totally hung out to dry in that meeting! None of my alleged friends said one word of support as the boss tore into me!
See also: dry, hung, out

be hung out to dry

If someone is hung out to dry, they are left alone to deal with a difficult situation or are blamed for it. Supporters of Mr Green felt he had been hung out to dry by the company executive. The problem is with the whole culture in which MPs are regularly hung out to dry.
See also: dry, hung, out

hung out to dry, to be

To be punished or vanquished. The allusion is to clothes left on a clothesline and never taken down. This slangy usage dates from about 1980. Paul Dickson refers to a specific meaning in basketball, where a player running around his defender easily scores two points, the defender thus being hung out to dry. It is used in numerous other contexts, such as “The cutback in funding had Paul hung out to dry.” It may be on its way to clichédom. See also high and dry.
See also: hung, out