the thumbs up/down

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thumbs down

A sign or indication of disapproval. The phrase can refer to the actual gesture, which carries the same meaning, or can be used figuratively. I know the committee approved our idea, but the CEO ultimately gave it the thumbs down. Getting a thumbs down to yet another college application has really disheartened me.
See also: down, thumb

thumbs up

A sign or indication of approval. The phrase can refer to the actual gesture, which carries the same meaning, or can be used figuratively. I loved that movie so much. I would definitely give it the thumbs up! We got a thumbs up to proceed with our plan. I assumed Paul was OK with our plan. When I told him about it, he just gave a thumbs up.
See also: thumb, up

thumbs down

 
1. a sign of disapproval. The board gave our proposal a thumbs down. The administration's tax bill got a thumbs down in Congress.
2. disapproving; negative. It was thumbs down, and I was disappointed. The thumbs-down decision was a victory for good sense.
See also: down, thumb

thumbs up

 
1. a sign of approval. It was a thumbs up on the new filtration plant at Thursday's village board meeting. There was no thumbs up for the mayor as she faced certain defeat in today's balloting.
2. approving; positive. The new filtration plant got a thumbs-up decision at the board meeting. A thumbs-up vote assured another three years of financial assistance.
See also: thumb, up

thumbs up

An expression of approval or hopefulness, as in The town said thumbs up on building the elderly housing project. The antonym thumbs down indicates disapproval or rejection, as in Mother gave us thumbs down on serving beer at our party. Alluding to crowd signals used in Roman amphitheaters, these idioms were first recorded in English about 1600. In ancient times the meaning of the gestures was opposite that of today. Thumbs down indicated approval; thumbs up, rejection. Exactly when the reversal occurred is not known, but the present conventions were established by the early 1900s.
See also: thumb, up

thumbs up (or down)

an indication of satisfaction or approval (or of rejection or failure). informal
The thumbs were used to signal approval or disapproval by spectators at a Roman amphitheatre, though they used ‘thumbs down’ to signify that a beaten gladiator had performed well and should be spared, and ‘thumbs up’ to call for his death.
See also: thumb, up

(give somebody/something/get) the thumbs ˈup/ˈdown

used to show that something has been accepted/rejected or that it is/is not a success: I asked him whether I could borrow the car, and he gave me the thumbs up.I’m afraid it’s thumbs down for your new proposal — the boss doesn’t like it.We’ve got the thumbs up for the new swimming pool.In contests in ancient Rome the public put their thumbs up if they wanted a gladiator to live, and down if they wanted him to be killed.
See also: down, thumb, up

thumbs down

1. n. a sign of disapproval. (see also turn thumbs down (on someone/something).) The board gave our proposal a thumbs down.
2. mod. disapproving; negative. It was thumbs down, and I was disappointed.
See also: down, thumb

thumbs up

1. n. a sign of approval. It was a thumbs up on the new filtration plant at Thursday’s village board meeting.
2. mod. approving; positive. The new filtration plant got a thumbs up decision at the board meeting.
See also: thumb, up
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, clicking the thumbs down button on every patio bench that is not black will eventually make the site only show the customer black patio benches, if that is what they want.
He gave the move the thumbs down when he popped into his favourite haunt - Tony Lane's Pie & Mash shop in Waltham Abbey, Essex.
Locals fought a long campaign against the project and yesterday Environment Minister Alex Attwood gave it the thumbs down.
The tie at the New Windmill Ground was given the thumbs down at 7.15pm after the electricity initially went down in the area at 5.45pm.
THE judges may have given her the thumbs down but the bookies are backing Ann Widdecombe.
In the news this week: Kerry gives Wayne Rooney the thumbs down, but she likes Storm from X Factor (inset).
Sean Sheehan, from Anglesey, wasn't shaken when he was given the thumbs down by music mogul Simon Cowell in the first auditions in Manchester.
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown's plan to slash VAT on environmentally-friendly goods has been given the thumbs down at an EU summit in Brussels.
GIRLS Aloud have given Tory leader David Cameron the thumbs down.
Loud music was also given the thumbs down, with 24 per cent slamming young people with boom boxes.
HARRY Potter has been given the THUMBS DOWN by young readers.
The Ministers have given the thumbs down to this procedural claim, with Tarja Halonen, the chair of the General Affairs Council explaining, in a letter to the Parliament's Presidency, that the Council believes that when the outgoing European Parliament's mandate ends, the European Parliament continues to be required to study the Council requests for consultation and there are therefore no grounds for tabling new proposals.
Many plum offers are getting the thumbs down, and not just because of compensation.
The 2,700 people surveyed by market research firm OnePoll.com also gave the thumbs down to hot tubs, fountains and solar lights.