leave (one) high and dry

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leave (one) high and dry

1. Literally, to allow one to remain dry and unaffected by water, typically flood waters. We get some pretty bad storms around here, but the levee has always left us high and dry, thank goodness.
2. To leave one in a situation that they have little chance of escaping or improving. You really left me high and dry when you forgot to pick me up last night. I had no way of calling or getting home! The departure of several key employees has left the business high and dry.
See also: and, dry, high, leave

leave someone high and dry

 
1. Lit. [for water] to recede and leave someone untouched. The waters receded and left us high and dry.
2. Fig. to leave someone unsupported and unable to maneuver; to leave someone helpless. All my workers quit and left me high and dry. All the children ran away and left Billy high and dry to take the blame for the broken window.
3. Fig. to leave someone flat broke. Mrs. Franklin took all the money out of the bank and left Mr. Franklin high and dry. Paying the bills always leaves me high and dry.
See also: and, dry, high, leave

leave someone high and dry

COMMON If someone or something leaves you high and dry, they leave you in a difficult situation which you are unable to do anything about. I won't leave this club high and dry. I'll still be here at the end of the season. Schools with better reputations will be flooded with applications while poorer schools will be left high and dry. Note: The image here is of a boat which is left on a beach after the tide has gone out.
See also: and, dry, high, leave