the bigger they are, the harder they fall(redirected from bigger they are)
the bigger they are, the harder they fall
proverb Those who are exceptionally large, powerful, or influential will have more to lose when they fail, and their failure will be all the more dramatic or spectacular because of it. Over 20 years, he created an iron-fisted dictatorship, but when the revolution came, he and the small few who controlled the country were summarily executed or driven into exile. Truly, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That bully thinks he's untouchable, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
bigger they are, the harder they fall
Prov. When prominent people fail, their failure is more dramatic. After the newspapers reported that the mayor cheated on his wife, he lost the election and he can't get any kind of job. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Jackson used to be very wealthy, but he lost every cent in the stock market crash. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
the bigger they come/are, the harder they fall
The mighty are brought lower than the lowly. Although the concept is as old as anyone who has faced a more powerful opponent, the saying is attributed to several turn-of-the-twentieth-century boxers who were facing such odds. One was Robert Fitzsimmons, who allegedly said it in 1902 before losing to James J. Jeffries, a much heavier man than he. Another was James J. Corbett, who had to fight Fitzsimmons, much taller than he, in 1897. According to Eric Partridge, the expression caught on as a term of defiance against one’s superiors in the British armed forces of World War I. Several variants have sprung up, among them the taller they are, the further/farther they fall; and the harder you fall, the higher you bounce.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer