two strikes against

(one, two, three) strikes against (someone or something)

An allusion to baseball, in which a batter is out from the play if they miss hitting the ball three times ("strike out").
1. One, two, or three aspects of someone or something that keep them or it from being completely successful. And the campus is really ugly, so that's two strikes against this college right off the bat. You should know that investors see your close relationship with Big Oil as a strike against your company. In my mind, the candidate has had three strikes against him ever since he started defending those wild conspiracy theories.
2. One, two, or three mistakes, transgressions, or infractions that someone or something did, especially if all three together will or could lead to failure. He's got two strikes against him for coming into work late. If he does it again, the boss said he'd be fired. A: "I can't believe you don't like Ken anymore." B: "Well, he did blow me off for our first date—that's one major strike against him." Claire still doesn't have that report finished? All right, that's three strikes against her—Holly is going to take over from now on.
See also: strike
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*two strikes against

1. two strikes on a baseball batter, three being the number that will put the batter "out." (Such a player is in a vulnerable position. *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Sammy has two strikes against him and might just strike out.
2. Fig. a critical number of things against one; a position wherein success is unlikely or where the success of the next move is crucial. (Fig. on {2} *Typically: get ~; have ~.) Poor Bob had two strikes against him when he tried to explain where he was last night. I can't win. I've got two strikes against me before I start.
See also: strike, two
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

two strikes against

Strong factors opposing, as in There are two strikes against her possibility of a promotion. This term comes from baseball, where a batter is allowed three strikes at a fairly pitched ball before being called out; thus, a batter with two strikes has but one more chance to hit a fair ball. The figurative use dates from the early 1900s.
See also: strike, two
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

two strikes against someone/something, to have

The odds are already against someone or something. This term comes from baseball, where the batter is allowed three strikes (swings at the ball) before being called out (losing the turn at bat). Thus a batter with two strikes called has only one more chance to swing and connect. The term was transferred to other undertakings by the early twentieth century. Thus, “All movements for social good will . . . have two strikes on them before they start” (New Republic, 1938).
See also: have, someone, strike, to, two
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
With regard to the federal three-strikes law, there is no dispute that Johnson's 1976 bank robbery conviction and the current conviction on the 2002 bank robbery both constitute serious violent felonies under the statute and therefore count as two strikes against him.
If his two strikes against the capital clubs aren't joint-goals of the season then we might as well all just pack up and go home.
The other two strikes against Everton this term have been a free-kick and a penalty, with the latter being won as a direct results of another cross into the box.
The other two strikes against Everton this term have been a free kick and a penalty, with the latter being won as a direct results of another cross into the box.
NOBODY doubts what Griffiths brings to the table in terms of goals as two strikes against England will testify.
The former Burnley, Chester and Accrington Stanley man marked his first full WPL appearance for the Citizens with a sumptuous volley, following in the footsteps of Brayden Shaw, who picked up the August award for one of his two strikes against The New Saints in the 5-2 win on the opening day of the campaign.
Before the hotel attack, government officials on Wednesday announced two strikes against the militants -- one in which the head of the al Shabaab intelligence unit was killed, and another which killed the suspected mastermind of an attack on a university in Kenya, in which 148 people died last year.
Privatization will have two strikes against it even before the debate begins.
His two strikes against Queens Park Rangers took his season's total to 26 - and the 16 he has scored in the league make him the top English front man in the top flight.
They also launched two strikes against ISIS fighters around the town of Tabqa in Raqqa province, but there was no information about casualties, the Observatory said.
With two strikes against them in a Southern community that will destroy any chance at happiness, they must resort to secret interludes.
It was suddenly borne in on Israel that its two strikes against Syria's chemical weapons and the transfer of advanced hardware to Hizbullah were wide of the mark.
His name was Martino, but he changed it, believing that ethnic types had two strikes against them.
So with two strikes against them already (lack of commonality and heavier weight), and since the chances of either of those factors significantly changing are slim to none, why have .308 ARs remained an on-going part of the commercial AR market-place at all?