drain

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circle the drain

To be in a state of severe deterioration such that one is approaching inevitable ruin, failure, or death. Usually used in the continuous form. The company's closure was inevitable, as it has been circling the drain for the last six months. Her political career began to circle the drain after news of her affair came to public light. He was already circling the drain when the decision was made to take him off life support.
See also: circle, drain

drain the main vein

vulgar slang Of a male, to urinate (where "main vein" is slang for the penis). Will you order us another round of drinks? I'm just going to go drain the main vein real quick.
See also: drain, main

Up to (one's) neck in alligators

business adage The full expression is some variation of: "When you are up to your neck in alligators, it's easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp." It is easy to be so overcome or preoccupied by various tangential worries, problems, or tasks that one loses sight of the ultimate goal or objective. I've spent so much time dealing with various infrastructure problems for my new business that I've had no time to actually develop our product properly. I guess it's easy to forget, when up to your neck in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swamp.
See also: alligator, neck, up

go down the drain

To fail; to be ruined or destroyed; to be squandered or wastefully discarded. My father's company is now going down the drain because of the incompetent new CEO. All of our savings have gone down the drain ever since Jack had his little gambling spree in Las Vegas.
See also: down, drain

brain drain

The loss of educated and skilled workers to other locations, often ones that provide better financial compensation or job opportunities. The state has some of the nation's best universities, but it suffers from brain drain as graduates often flee to find more lucrative job opportunities elsewhere.
See also: brain, drain

down the drain

1. In a state of failure or ruination. My father's company is now going down the drain because of the incompetent new CEO.
2. Squandered or wastefully discarded. All of our savings have gone down the drain ever since Jack had his little gambling spree in Las Vegas.
See also: down, drain

drain (someone or something) of (something)

1. To cause someone or something to lose some ability or quality, often energy. Eleanor has such a pessimistic attitude that I feel drained of energy every time I'm with her.
2. To empty or remove something (often a liquid) from something else. I always have to drain this soup of its broth because my daughter only likes the noodles.
See also: drain, of

drain (something) out of (something)

To cause a liquid to flow or move out of something. Can you drain the water out of that pot? I don't want the pasta to get soggy.
See also: drain, of, out

drain away

1. To flow or move away from something, as of a liquid. Don't worry, once the rain stops, all of this water will drain away from the sidewalk.
2. To cause a liquid to flow or move away from something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "drain" and "away." I had to drain the broth away from the noodles to get my daughter to eat the soup.
See also: away, drain

drain from (someone or something)

1. To flow or move away from something, as of a liquid. Don't worry, once the rain stops, all of this water will drain from the sidewalk.
2. To cause a liquid to flow or move out of someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "drain" and "from." Ever since that football injury, I have to go to the doctor every so often to get fluid drained from my knee. I had to drain the broth from the noodles, or else my daughter wouldn't eat the soup.
See also: drain

drain off

To flow or move off of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "drain" and "off." Now that we've fixed the gutters, the rain should drain off of our roof nicely.
See also: drain, off

drain out

To flow or move out of something, as of a liquid. Because the stopper had come loose, most of the water had drained out of the tub by the time I came back for my bath.
See also: drain, out

laugh like a drain

1. verb To laugh in a very loud, boisterous, and hearty manner; to guffaw. Mike's friend Jessie had me laughing like a drain all evening long.
2. noun A very loud, boisterous, and hearty laugh. My mother had a laugh like a drain that brought a smile to everyone in the room.
See also: drain, laugh, like

drain away

[for something] to flow away. All the water drained away and exposed the mud and rocks on the bottom of the pond. When the water drained away, we found three snapping turtles in the bottom of the pond.
See also: away, drain

drain from something

to flow out of something. All the dirty oil drained from the engine. The milk drained from the leaky container and covered the bottom of the refrigerator.
See also: drain

drain out

to flow out or empty. All the milk drained out of the container onto the bottom of the refrigerator. All the oil drained out of the crankcase.
See also: drain, out

drain someone or something of something

Fig. to exhaust someone or something of something, such as energy, motivation, etc. This day has drained me of all my motivation. The first performance drained the cast of all its energy.
See also: drain, of

drain something away

(from something ) to channel some liquid away from something. Drain all of the standing water away from the foundation of the house. Drain away the water from the foundation.
See also: away, drain

drain something from someone or something

to cause something to flow out of someone or something. The farmers drained the water from the flooded fields. The doctor drained the fluids from Roger after his operation.
See also: drain

drain something of something

to empty something out of something. He drained the glass of the remaining beer.
See also: drain, of

drain something off something

 and drain something off to cause or permit something
to flow from the surface or contents of something. Drain some of the broth off the chicken. Drain off the fat at the bottom of the pan.
See also: drain, off

drain something out of something

 and drain something out
to cause something to flow from something; to empty all of some liquid out of something. She drained the last drop out of the bottle. She drained out all the water in the pot.
See also: drain, of, out

pour money down the drain

Fig. to waste money; to throw money away. What a waste! Buying that old car is just pouring money down the drain. Don't buy any more of that low-quality merchandise. That's just throwing money down the drain.
See also: down, drain, money, pour

brain drain

The departure of educated or talented persons for better pay or jobs elsewhere, as in The repression of free speech in Germany triggered a brain drain to Britain and America. The term originated about 1960, when many British scientists and intellectuals emigrated to the United States for a better working climate.
See also: brain, drain

down the drain

On the way to being lost or wasted; disappearing. For example, Buying new furniture when they can't take it with them is just pouring money down the drain , or During the Depression huge fortunes went down the drain. This metaphoric term alludes to water going down a drain and being carried off. [Colloquial; c. 1920] For a synonym, see down the tubes.
See also: down, drain

down the drain

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

down the tubes

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

down the pan

BRITISH
COMMON If something is going down the drain, down the tubes or down the pan, it is getting worse or being destroyed and it is unlikely to recover. They were aware that their public image was rapidly going down the drain. People don't like to see marriages going down the tubes. Note: Words such as plughole and toilet are sometimes used instead of drain. Neil admitted recently that long working hours mean his personal life has gone down the toilet.
1. If money, work, or time has gone down the drain, down the tubes or down the pan, it has been lost or wasted. Over the years, the government has poured billions of dollars down the drain propping up its national airlines and other firms. You have ruined everything — my perfect plans, my great organization. All those years of work are down the drain. Note: Words such as plughole and toilet are sometimes used instead of drain. Millions of dollars have gone down the plughole.
See also: down, drain

laugh like a drain

BRITISH
If you laugh like a drain, you laugh noisily. I read my tattered copies of P.G. Wodehouse and laughed like a drain. We glanced across at each other and I saw he was laughing like a drain! Note: The idea is of loud laughter sounding like water disappearing down a drain, and perhaps also of the open mouth resembling the drain.
See also: drain, laugh, like

down the drain

totally wasted or spoilt. informal
1930 W. Somerset Maugham The Breadwinner All his savings are gone down the drain.
See also: down, drain

laugh like a drain

laugh raucously; guffaw. British informal
See also: drain, laugh, like

the ˈbrain drain

the loss of qualified scientists, doctors, engineers, etc. to another country, especially one where they are paid more for their work
See also: brain, drain

ˌcircle the ˈdrain

(American English) (usually used in the progressive tenses) if something circles the drain it continues to become worse so that it may not be able to survive much longer: It appears the governor’s political career is circling the drain.
See also: circle, drain

(go) down the ˈdrain

(British English also (go) down the ˈplughole) (informal) (be) wasted or lost; (get) much worse: He watched his business, which had taken so long to build up, go slowly down the drain.
See also: down, drain

laugh like a ˈdrain

(British English) laugh very loudly: When I told him what had happened he laughed like a drain, as if it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard.
See also: drain, laugh, like

ˌmoney down the ˈdrain

(informal) a waste of money: Her father feels that all her expensive education will just be money down the drain if she gets a job in a cafe.
See also: down, drain, money

brain-drain

n. the movement of intellectuals from one country to another where the pay and job opportunities are better. Where there is a good education system, there will always be a brain-drain.

circling (the drain)

tv. & in. to be in the final process of dying; to be in extremis. (Jocular but crude hospital jargon.) Get Mrs. Smith’s son on the phone. She’s circling the drain.
See also: circle, drain

down the drain

mod. gone; wasted. A lot of money went down the drain in that Wilson deal.
See also: down, drain

drain the bilge

tv. to empty one’s stomach; to vomit. Fred left quickly to drain the bilge.
See also: drain

drain the dragon

tv. [for a male] to urinate. (see also dragon = penis.) Bobby? He went to drain the dragon.
See also: dragon, drain

make drain babies

n. to masturbate (male). (The genetic material goes down the drain. Clever but contrived.) My social life stinks. I’m limited to making drain babies.
See also: baby, drain, make

down the drain

To or into the condition of being wasted or lost: All of our best laid plans are down the drain.
See also: down, drain
References in periodicals archive ?
Rubbermaid's new drainer tray complements the wire and plastic drainers.
The new 1183 Drainer Tray (model number 1183) complements the wire and plastic drainers.
A utility room with a stainless steel single drainer sink plus space for appliances and a cloakroom with toilet complete the ground floor layout.
The small sink and drainer are positioned on either side of the main sink to make the best use of space.
Accommodation comprises a good-sized lounge, a kitchen fitted with a comprehensive range of wall and base units with work surfaces, an inset stainless steel single drainer sink and tiled splashbacks, a modern bathroom and three bedrooms.
It has a light and airy lounge/bedroom, while the kitchen is fitted with a range of modern units with work surfaces, an inset stainless steel single drainer sink and tiled splashbacks.
Accommodation comprises a hallway and a good-sized lounge, while the fitted kitchen has a range of modern wall and base units with work surfaces and an inset single drainer sink.
It has a hallway with stairs, a good-sized lounge/dining room, a fitted kitchen with modern wall and base units with work surfaces and an inset stainless steel single drainer sink, and a utility room.
The kitchen is fitted with a comprehensive range of modern wall and base units with work surfaces and an inset single drainer sink.
It has an enclosed porch, hallway, cloakroom and goodsized lounge with feature fireplace, while the fitted kitchen has modern units with work surfaces and an inset stainless steel single drainer sink.
The kitchen is fitted with modern wall and base units with work surfaces, an inset stainless steel single drainer sink and tiled splashbacks.
The kitchen is fitted with a comprehensive range of wall and base units with work surfaces, inset single drainer sink and tiled splashbacks.
The refitted kitchen has modern wall and base units with work surfaces, an inset stainless steel single drainer sink plus built-in oven and hob.