shoot somebody/something down
shoot (someone or something) down in flames
To bring about someone or something's failure. I thought I'd written a fine campaign speech, but my team shot it down in flames. I can't believe he shot me down in flames in front of the board of trustees!
1. To reject, foil, or disappoint the aspirations of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shoot" and "down." I asked John out for a date, but he shot me down. The committee shot down our plans for a new apartment block. The candidate was able to shoot down each of his opponents' claims with indisputable proof.
2. To fire upon an aircraft in order to destroy it or force it to land or crash. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shoot" and "down." We're under orders to shoot down any aircraft in the no-fly zone. If they enter our airspace, shoot them down.
shoot (someone, something, or an animal) down
to bring down someone, something, or an animal by gunfire. Fred shot Mike down in the street. They shot down the plane.
shoot something down
Fig. to foil a plan through criticism; to counter an idea with criticism. (Based on shoot someone, something, or an animal down.) He raised a good point, but the others shot him down almost immediately. Liz shot down Jeff's best idea.
1. Ruin the aspirations of, disappoint, as in Bill was hoping Sharon would go out with him, but she shot him down.
2. Reject, defeat; also, expose as false. For example, It was the best idea I could come up with, but they unanimously shot it down, or It was inevitable that they would shoot down any claim made by the opposing candidate. This colloquial expression, which alludes to bringing down an aircraft or game bird by shooting, is sometimes intensified as shoot down in flames, originally (in World War I) referring to bringing down enemy aircraft but the late 1950s extended to decisively defeating anyone or anything.
shoot somebody/something ˈdown (in ˈflames)(informal) be very critical of somebody’s ideas, opinions, suggestions, etc: I thought it was a brilliant idea, but she shot it down in flames.
1. To cause something to collapse or fall by striking it with bullets, missiles, or some other projectile; gun down: They shot down the attacking airplanes. The kids released a balloon and shot it down with an air rifle.
2. To kill someone by shooting them; gun down: They stormed into the office and shot down everyone there. The assassin walked up to her target and shot him down.
3. To discredit someone or someone's proposal: Whenever I offer an opinion, they just shoot me down. The council shot down the mayor's proposal. I'm afraid this new evidence shoots down our old theory of what happened.
4. To ruin the aspirations of someone: Their sneers and insults shot me down. A bad critic can shoot down even a very determined artist.
5. To put an end to something; defeat something: The opposition was able to shoot down the proposal. The electorate shot the incumbent down.