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To dwindle, diminish, or fade away; to become used up or exhausted. His campaign started really strong, but following a series of scandals, public support for the candidate petered out and he never got off the ground. The light on my bike began to peter out, so I had to stop and change the batteries.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[for something] to die or dwindle away; [for something] to become exhausted gradually. When the fire petered out, I went to bed. My money finally petered out, and I had to come home.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Dwindle or diminish and come to an end, as in Their enthusiasm soon petered out. The origin of this usage is unknown, but one authority suggests it may refer to the apostle Peter, whose enthusiastic support of Jesus quickly diminished so that he denied knowing him three times during the night after Jesus's arrest. [Mid-1800s]
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.
1. To cause someone to lose all energy; tire someone out: That long run petered me out. You'll get petered out if you work too fast.
2. To lose all energy; tire out: I petered out toward the end and lost the race.
3. To diminish slowly and come to an end; dwindle: The flow of water petered out as the valves were closed.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to give out; to wear out. What’ll we do when the money peters out?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.