shoot (someone or something) down in flames

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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!
See also: down, flame, shoot

shoot someone down in flames

Fig. to ruin someone; to bring about someone's downfall. (See also go down in flames.) It was a bad idea, okay, but you didn't have to shoot me down in flames at the meeting. I didn't mean to shoot you down in flames.
See also: down, flame, shoot

shoot someone or something down in flames

forcefully destroy an argument or proposal.
1999 BBC Top Gear Magazine I've been shot down in flames by the boys in the Top Gear office for saying this, but I reckon the Porsche Boxster has to be one of the most beautifully sculpted bits of artwork going.