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A situation in which the results or consequences of an action grow at an increasingly faster rate over time. Once the video game hit the market, word of mouth caused a snowball effect that made it the most popular and top grossing game of all time. She ignored her debt for so long that now, she's experiencing a snowball effect that threatens to crush her financially.
not have a (snowball's) chance in hell
To be completely impossible or incredibly unlikely; to have no chance whatsoever. Usually followed by "of." That party doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning an election in this part of the state. We don't have a chance in hell of catching up to their score.
not a cat in hell's chance
Absolutely no chance or possibility (of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something). There's not a cat in hell's chance of them getting into the playoffs this year. There isn't a cat in hell's chance that they'll convict him—he's too rich and powerful!
a snowball's chance in hell
An infinitely small possibility, chance, or likelihood, to the point of being impossible. Usually used in the phrase "not have a snowball's chance in hell." That candidate doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning an election in this part of the state. We haven't got a snowball's chance in hell if we have to compete against some mega corporation like that!
slang Cocaine. Hey man, can you score me some snow for this weekend? I dabbled a bit with snow when I was in college, but I mostly just stick to pot.
snowball into (something)
To develop quickly and progressively into something bigger, more complex, more difficult, more dangerous, etc. This whole situation could snowball into a national scandal if the press gets wind of it. It started out as an idea for a short story, but I just kept adding details and characters and plot twists to it until it snowballed into a full-blown novel.
See also: snowball
not have a snowball's chance in hell and not a hope in hell
Inf. a very poor chance. (Usually in the negative.) She doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting it done on time. I know I don't have a hope in hell, but I'll try anyway.
snowball into something
Fig. [for something] to become larger or more serious by growing like a snowball being rolled. This whole problem is snowballing into a crisis very rapidly. The argument soon snowballed into a full-blown riot.
See also: snowball
snowball's chance in hell, a
No chance at all, as in He hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of getting there in two hours. This idiom, nearly always used negatively, alludes to the traditional view of hell as extremely hot, causing snow to melt at once. [Late 1800s]
See also: chance
not a cat in hell's chanceor
not a snowball's chance in hellBRITISH, SPOKEN
COMMON If there is not a cat in hell's chance or not a snowball's chance in hell of someone doing something or of something happening, there is no chance at all that they will do it or it will happen. We haven't a cat in hell's chance of raising the money by the Friday deadline. Do you seriously think he has a snowball's chance in hell of winning this election? Note: You can also say that someone does not have a chance in hell of doing something. They don't have a chance in hell of privatising the economy. They have no idea how a free market works. Note: The original expression was `as much chance as a cat in hell without claws'.
not a cat in hell's chanceno chance at all. informal
This expression is often shortened to not a cat's chance .
2001 James Hamilton-Paterson Loving Monsters There isn't, of course, a cat in hell's chance that I shall ever see 1999 as you, I and Dr Faruli know perfectly well.
not have a ˌsnowball’s chance in ˈhell (of doing something)(informal) have no chance at all of doing something: Look at this traffic! I’m afraid we haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of getting to the airport in time. OPPOSITE: a sporting chance
This idiom refers to the belief that hell is a place of fire.
1. n. deceitful talk; deception. All I heard for an hour was snow. Now, what’s the truth?
2. tv. to attempt to deceive someone. (see also snowed.) You can try to snow me if you want, but I’m onto your tricks.
3. and snowball and snowflakes and snow stuff n. a powdered or crystalline narcotic: morphine, heroin, or cocaine. (Now almost always the latter.) The price of snow stuff has come down a lot as South America exports more of it.
1. in. to grow at an increasing rate. (As a snowball rolling down a hill might increase in size.) Offers to help with money and prayers began to snowball, and we had to get volunteers to help answer the phones.
2. Go to snow.
snowball’s chance in hell
n. a very poor chance. (Usually in the negative.) She doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting it done on time.