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in tatters

In a ruined condition. (Used literally or figuratively.) You can't wear this jacket to dinner—it's in tatters! The company was in tatters after the founding members resigned.
See also: tatter

be in tatters

1. Of a fabric, typically clothing, to be torn or worn into strips. You can't wear this jacket to dinner—it's in tatters!
2. By extension, to be in a ruined condition. The company was in tatters after the founding members resigned. Our relationship is in tatters. I have no idea how we could fix it.
See also: tatter

in tatters

Fig. in torn pieces of cloth. The poor man's clothes hung in tatters. The flag was in tatters after the storm.
See also: tatter

be in ˈtatters

1 (of clothes) be torn in many places: He got into a fight and came home with his clothes in tatters.
2 (of a plan, an idea, a person’s feelings, etc.) be ruined or badly damaged: She’s failed her exams, and now all her hopes of becoming a doctor are in tatters.His career and his reputation are both in tatters after the scandal.
See also: tatter
References in periodicals archive ?
Where Microphone showed a younger generation desperate for change, at a time when even the small freedom to simply put on a music concert was denied, Rags and Tatters shows how this very same generation's frustration has now reached breaking point.
Ahmed Abdalla follows Heliopolis and Microphone with his third feature Rags and Tatters, shown for another week in Egyptian cinemas after an extension of its original screeningtime of one week.
Tatters said: "We worked really hard for each other and defended well.
On paper, Tatters alls has compiled a catalogue significantly better than last year's, with juveniles entered by the likes of Acclamation, Anabaa, Dalakhani, Distorted Humor, Elusive Quality, Empire Maker, Forestry, Galileo, Giant's Causeway, Green Desert, Maria's Mon, Mr Greeley, Oasis Dream, Rainbow Quest, Sadler's Wells and Street Cry.
There's only one reason his marriage and career are in tatters - it's because of his own vanity, stupidity and irresponsibility.
Two senior judges said the situation was "regrettable", and yesterday ordered a "thorough and searching" new investigation into how Mr Tatters came to die in November 2003.
Some corn varieties that arose on the Caribbean island of Antigua defend themselves with chemical attacks that leave insect gut linings in tatters.
The third tower contains an assortment of Swiss national flags, some almost in tatters, gathered from buildings, back gardens and allotments around the country.
Afghanistan's economy is in tatters, and in a bid to turn the country around and perhaps seek more foreign aid, Taliban leaders have agreed to crack down on widespread poppy plant growing.
but the engine is impetuous and the tatters make a whole
We have to ensure that Sinn Fein is there in a better position to negotiate a better agreement than the one which is now in tatters.
Seven years later, this plan, like many administration initiatives, rests in tatters even as the president declares it a success.
However, we do know that the Chancellor has made extravagant spending pledges for the NHS, education and transport which he will not be able to meet, while the rural economy is in tatters following the foot-and-mouth debacle.
EMBARRASSED Elgin chairman Graham Tatters last night admitted he had to be talked out of quitting the club after the Rangers ticket fiasco.