under the hammer


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under the hammer

Put up for or sold at auction. The banker's family estate had to come under the hammer to cover some of his mounting debt. We've had to put a number of our possessions under the hammer in order to pay our mortgage since David lost his job.
See also: hammer
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

under the hammer

For sale, as in These paintings and Oriental rugs must come under the hammer if we're to pay the mortgage. This expression alludes to the auctioneer's hammer, which is rapped to indicate a completed transaction. [Mid-1800s]
See also: hammer
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.

under the hammer

BRITISH
COMMON If something goes under the hammer, it is offered for sale at an auction. The first half of the collection goes under the hammer on Friday and there are some real treasures. A portrait by Dutch master Rembrandt went under the hammer for £4.18 million at Sotheby's yesterday. These are just some of the items under the hammer at the charity auction on 30 October. Note: The usual American expression is on the block. Note: In an auction, the auctioneer shows that a sale has been made by banging a hammer on a table.
See also: hammer
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

under the hammer

For sale at an auction.
See also: hammer
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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