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A person or thing that is doomed or destined for failure. If he jumps out of that plane and his parachute doesn't open, he's a goner. I'm a goner if my parents find out I dented the car.

(a) goner

a dead or dying creature or person. The boy brought the sick fish back to the pet store to get his money back. "This one is a goner," he said. John thought he was a goner when his parachute didn't open.

a goner

Something or someone that is dead, doomed, ruined, or past recovery, as in If this new drug doesn't work, he's a goner; or Without a working transmission, my car's a goner. Synonyms of this idiom, such as a gone goose or chicken or gosling , are no longer heard as much. [Slang; mid-1800s]
See also: goner


n. someone or something finished or nearly finished. The horse was a goner, so it had to be destroyed.
References in periodicals archive ?
"I panicked at first as I'd never seen him swim before - I really thought he was a goner," he said.
I'm afraid the 'duke' was a goner. This weekend I'm going to rummage through my drawers for a bargain.
Departments throughout the Government, including the Treasury, Prime Minister's Office, Department of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Defence, will now be protected by a new line of defence against the growing dangers posed by mass mailing viruses such as Lovebug, Sircam and Goner.
The most recent exploit, dubbed "Goner," wreaked havoc with the email systems of thousands of companies worldwide causing millions of dollars in estimated damage due to lost productivity.
In order to be activated, "Goner" requires a user himself to manually launch the worm-carrier file (GONE.SCR) that will initiate the target computer infection routine.
Four Israeli high school students have admitted to creating the "Goner" e-mail worm, which started spreading rapidly last week.
Experts described the virus, called Goner, as one of the fastest-spreading they had yet seen and warned computer users to immediately delete it if they received it."
Chuck Robb, the profligate son-in-law of LBJ, was a goner. The ballroom was emptying out so I headed back to the RNC to see how they were holding up in apparent victory.
The 41-year-old thought he was a goner, even though passersby bundled him into a car and rushed him to the nearest hospital emergency room.
"Now, you just need one mutation and you're a goner," says Hurst.
So if you get stuck in a rip current, are you a goner? Not if you know how to beat a rip.
Another dancer who believes that she is "a goner" if she pays attention to the competition is Dawn Ann Bryant, whose ultimate goal is to choreograph.
Or in other words, that's why the Other (it's an internal and eternal affair) is the goner who is at the same time immortal.
Still, in the end, the point is made: Chapter I I is a cure that's often deadlier than the disease; if a company was in trouble before it sought protection, it's a likely goner afterwards.