knock the bottom out of (someone or something)

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knock the bottom out of (someone or something)

1. To undermine, weaken, or destroy something. The stock market crash knocked the bottom out of dozens of investment firms around the country. Tom's comments really knocked the bottom out of our proposal during the meeting.
2. To erode or undermine someone's self-confidence or sense of self-worth. Losing her job really knocked the bottom out of Sarah. I hope she comes out of this funk soon. Don't let boss's comments knock the bottom out of you. He's hard on everyone.
See also: bottom, knock, of, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

knock the bottom out

 (of something)
1. and knock the bottom out Lit. to break the bottom of a container. I knocked the bottom out of the barrel and used it to store compost. Knock out the bottom and set it right on the soil.
2. Fig. [for something] to go down so low as to knock out the bottom. The bad news knocked the bottom out of the stock market. The recession knocked the bottom out of our profits.
See also: bottom, knock, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

knock the bottom out of

Also, knock the props out from under. Render invalid, undermine. For example, The discovery of another planet that might support life knocks the bottom out of many theories , or Jane's skilled debating knocked the props out from under her opponent. The first expression dates from the late 1800s, the variant from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: bottom, knock, of, out
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.
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