go to the wall

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go to the wall

1. To go bankrupt. If the company loses money again this quarter, it will go to the wall sooner than later.
2. To steadfastly support someone or something regardless of any suffering one might incur as a result. I would go to the wall for you, so I'll certainly endorse you on the campaign trail.
3. To yield or submit to someone or something. Despite putting forth our best effort, we went to the wall and came home losers.
See also: go, wall

go to the wall (on something)

to take on great risk or to hold out to the very last on some issue. I will go to the wall on this point. This is a very important matter and I will go to the wall if necessary.
See also: go, wall

go to the wall

1. Lose a conflict, be defeated; also, yield. For example, In spite of their efforts, they went to the wall, or When it's a matter of family versus friends, friends must go to the wall. [Late 1500s]
2. Fail in business, go bankrupt. For example, First one branch and then another did poorly, and the store finally went to the wall. [First half of 1800s]
3. Take an extreme position, hold out to the end. For example, The President went to the wall to defend his choice to head the FBI. For a synonym, see go to the mat.
See also: go, wall

go to the wall

BRITISH
COMMON
1. If a person or company goes to the wall, they lose all their money and their business fails. Over the last year, two football clubs have gone to the wall. A total of 1,776 companies went to the wall in the three months to March.
2. If you are willing to go to the wall for a person or a principle, you support them so strongly that you are prepared to suffer for them. Above all, he prizes loyalty. He'll go to the wall for someone or something he believes in. This man will go to the wall for you if you're on his side. Note: One explanation for this expression is that it refers to someone who is trapped with their back to a wall and no way of escape. Another explanation is that it refers to medieval chapels in which healthy people used to stand, but which had seats around the walls for sick people. A third explanation is that it refers to someone standing in front of a wall before being executed by a firing squad.
See also: go, wall

go to the wall

1 (of a business) fail; go out of business. 2 support someone or something, no matter what the cost to yourself. informal
See also: go, wall

go to the ˈwall

(informal) fail because of lack of money: Smaller companies are always the first to go to the wall in an economic recession.
See also: go, wall
References in classic literature ?
The question of his fate, then, rested upon whether, with his start he could elude Numa for a few seconds; and, if so, if the lion would then have sufficient stamina remaining to pursue him at a reduced gait for the balance of the distance to the wall.
As Turan had passed through the gateway into the city and taken his unhindered way along the avenue, twenty warriors had entered the city and closed the gate behind them, and then one had taken to the wall and followed along its summit in the rear of Turan, and another had followed him along the avenue, while a third had crossed the street and entered one of the buildings upon the opposite side.
All that was necessary was to let the two strips of paper drop back into their places--to fasten the strip to the wall in Anne's room, by tightening the two lower strings--and then to replace the nails which held the loose strip on Geoffrey's side.
No one did so much as look at the travelers at first, except one little purple china dog with an extra-large head, which came to the wall and barked at them in a tiny voice, afterwards running away again.
Since your eminence has come so far, come a few steps further; conduct us, my lord, to the wall.
Be it so," replied the cardinal; and walking in a straight line he went to the wall, at the foot of which they all four arrived at the same instant.
I jumped down and gave another ten minutes to the back-breaking work of carrying more boulders from the water to the wall.
I had a keen eye apiece for them as I cowered closer to the wall, revolver in hand.
Follow me," she sang, "only keep as you are, keep as you are, close to the wall, close to the wall.
Note that East German authorities referred to the Wall as the "Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart.
Part of the difficulty comes in knowing how many, how long, where, and how deep the anchors should be to provide stability to the whole wall, as well as how to fasten this to the wall and spread its resistive force across the face.
These include not only the very application of pigment, which is managed with a take-nothing-for-granted literalness that can make other kinds of painting seem presumptuous or mannered, but also the choosing and constructing or handling of various supports (single or multiple panels of stretched and unstretched canvas, paper, cardboard, steel, aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass, among many others) and the technical means of fastening or fixing them to the wall.