(one's) number is up(redirected from number's up)
(one's) number is up
It is one's time to die, suffer, or be punished. My only wish is that I don't feel any pain when my number is up. This evidence proves that the senator was part of the conspiracy. His number's up this time.
one's number is up
Fig. one's time to die—or to suffer some other unpleasantness—has come. John is worried. He thinks his number is up. When my number is up, I hope it all goes fast.
number is up, one's
One is in grave difficulty or near death. For example, She knew her number was up when she saw the look on her supervisor's face, or He looks terrible; I think his number's up. In the earliest use of this phrase, in the early 1800s, number referred to an unfavorable lottery number, but in other citations it could be any number whereby one is identified, such as the number on a military dog tag.
See also: number
someone's number is upINFORMAL
1. If someone's number is up, they are going to die very soon and there is nothing they can do to stop that. There were moments when Smith thought his number was up like in a major storm in the Atlantic when a voice in his head said quite clearly, `You are going to die.'
2. If someone's number is up, something bad is going to happen to them, for example they are going to fail at something or lose their job. When the American found himself two match points down to Rosset of Switzerland last night, he thought his number was up. Note: This is derived from army or navy life. A soldier or sailor who had been killed or who had died was said to have lost his mess number, or given up his place in the dining hall.
someone's number is upthe time has come when someone is doomed to die or suffer some other disaster or setback. informal
This phrase may allude to a lottery number or to the various biblical passages referring to the ‘number of your days’, i.e. the length of your life, for example in Job 38:21: ‘Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?’