have seen better days

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have seen better days

To be or look particularly shabby, ill-kept, or in poor condition. Wow, this car has seen better days. What'd you do, drive it through a minefield? The poor guy who runs the building has certainly seen better days, but he's a sweet fellow.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have seen better days

Euph. to be in bad condition. My old car has seen better days, but at least it's still running. She's seen better days, it's true, but she's still lots of fun.
See also: better, days, have, seen
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

seen better days, have

Be worn out, have fallen into a state of decline, as in This chair has seen better days, or The family business has seen better days. This term was first used by Shakespeare to describe a decline of fortune ( Timon of Athens, 4:2) but soon was broadened to describe aging or deterioration in both humans and objects.
See also: better, have, seen
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.

have seen better days

If something has seen better days, it is old and in poor condition. The houses had seen better days and their crumbling plaster was now dirty grey and damp. There was an old brass double bed with a mattress that had seen better days.
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Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

seen (or known) better days

be in a worse state than in the past; have become old, worn-out, or shabby.
See also: better, days, seen
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

have seen/known better ˈdays

be in a worse condition than in the past: That jacket of yours has seen better days — isn’t it time you bought a new one?
See also: better, days, have, known, seen
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

seen better days

tv. showing signs of wear or exhaustion. (Always a past participle.) This coat has seen better days.
See also: better, days, seen
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

seen better days, to have

To have declined, to have become less prosperous, more worn, and the like. This term was first used by Shakespeare to describe a decline of fortune; Timon’s steward, Flavius, says to his servants, “Let’s shake our heads, and say, as ’twere a knell unto our master’s fortunes, ‘We have seen better days’” (Timon of Athens, 4.2). Sir Walter Scott used it to describe aging (The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805): “His wither’d cheek and tresses grey seem’d to have known a better day.” We still use it to describe, for example, a piece of worn-out furniture (“This couch has seen better days”).
See also: better, have, seen
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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