drop the ball

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drop the ball

1. To make a mistake. I think she really dropped the ball when she decided to quit that promising internship.
2. To forget about or neglect someone or something. I know I dropped the ball today—I just got swamped at work and completely forgot about picking the kids up from school.
See also: ball, drop
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

drop the ball

 
1. . Lit. [in a ball game of some type] to let the ball get away or fall out of one's grasp. Good grief! Bill dropped the ball, just as he was about to score!
2. Fig. to make a blunder; to fail in some way. Everything was going fine in the election until my campaign manager dropped the ball. You can't trust John to do the job right. He's always dropping the ball.
See also: ball, drop
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

drop the ball

Make an error; miss an opportunity. For example, She really dropped the ball when she forgot to call back, or He dropped the ball, turning down their offer. This expression comes from sports where a player who fails to catch a ball is charged with an error. Its use for more general kinds of mistakes dates from about 1950.
See also: ball, drop
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.

drop the ball

mainly AMERICAN
If someone drops the ball, they make a mistake or do something silly. Some say the Academy dropped the ball last year by failing to recognise Linklater's film in the Best Animated Feature category. There are people who'd like to see me fall, I know that. But I'm not afraid. I won't drop the ball.
See also: ball, drop
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

drop the ball

make a mistake; mishandle things. North American informal
See also: ball, drop
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

drop the ˈball

(American English, informal) make a mistake and spoil something that you are responsible for: I could use some help. I don’t want to drop the ball on this one.He thinks that you dropped the ball on the Swiss project.
See also: ball, drop
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

drop the ball

tv. to fail at something; to allow something to fail. I didn’t want to be the one who dropped the ball, but I knew that someone would flub up.
See also: ball, drop
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

drop the ball

To make a mistake or fail to do something important.
See also: ball, drop
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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