fall off the wagon

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fall off the wagon

1. To return to drinking alcohol after a period of abstinence. Usually said of recovering alcoholics. There have been a few times that I've nearly fallen off the wagon, but thinking of my responsibility to my daughter helps keep me sober.
2. By extension, to return to any discontinued behavior, usually one that is detrimental in some way. I gave up smoking for nearly a year, but I fell off the wagon at Jeff's bachelor party.
See also: fall, off, wagon

fall off the wagon

1. in. to resume drinking after having stopped. (The wagon is presumed to be the water wagon.) It looks to me like he wanted nothing more than to fall off the wagon.
2. in. to resume any previously stopped behavior including smoking, drug use, overeating, or any other disavowed behavior. He’s back to watching TV again. Fell off the wagon I guess.
See also: fall, off, wagon
References in periodicals archive ?
After falling off the wagon, he contacts his long-lost sister and looks set to start afresh.
SECRETS OF A HAPPY LIFE Stop feeling so guilty Deciding to change to a healthy lifestyle can be challenging and falling off the wagon every now and again is normal.
Her allegedly dumping him to reunite with Justin led to him initially falling off the wagon and descending into extreme alcoholism.
EMMERDALE (ITV, 7pm) AFTER falling off the wagon rather spectacularly and choking on her own vomit in front of the kids, Laurel has really done it this time.
He's been consistently excellent throughout this story, not least of all after spectacularly falling off the wagon when he thought that he'd got both wife Carla and secret lover Tina pregnant.
The 64-year-old rock vocalist, who has battled with drink and drugs, falling off the wagon earlier this year said that he did a good job of being the living dead himself, at the event held at Camden's Roundhouse in London.
- Annabel Atkins, Norwich THE phrase - and its flipside of falling off the wagon - can allude to any number of vices, although it usually refers to attempts to give up alcohol.
But Drinkaware's survey of 2,000 adults also found only 11% were confident of keeping their resolutions throughout the year, with almost one in five resigned to falling off the wagon by the end of this week.
After falling off the wagon in spectacular style at the end of the last run, Brian (Alun Armstrong) has been forced to check into the Trinity Clinic by his wife Esther (Susan Jameson), the woman who brings a whole new meaning to the term "long-suffering."
On falling off the wagon: "I think I just got thirsty ...
INJURED footballer Christian Roberts has checked into rehab - to stop him falling off the wagon while he is sidelined.
Name the former Baywatch star caught on video by his daughters while falling off the wagon?
When her rehab is over she's likely to enter Wonderland's 'Clean Living' programme which allows her to work but live nearby to stop her falling off the wagon.
Newcastle Magistrates' Court was told Graham had a history of "falling off the wagon" which had affected his career as a joiner.
This was just what I needed to stop me falling off the wagon.