whimper

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not with a bang but with a whimper

In an anti-climactic way. Typically used to describe the end of something. The phrase is taken from the last stanza of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper." We all thought the championship was going to be a close game, but it ended up being a blowout, and the season ended not with a bang but with a whimper.
See also: bang, but, not, whimper

not with a bang but a whimper

LITERARY
If something happens not with a bang but a whimper, it is less effective or exciting than people expected or intended. The Cannes film festival approached its climax yesterday not with a bang but a whimper, as thousands of disappointed festival-goers left early. Note: You can also say that something happened with a bang and not a whimper to mean the opposite. Should the monarchy go, it would be with a memorable bang and not a whimper. Note: This is the last line of T.S. Eliot's poem `The Hollow Men' (1925): `This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.'
See also: bang, but, not, whimper
References in periodicals archive ?
So they went out and were guided to the water tank by the whimpering of Bruno, a two-year-old Labrador cross.
It was the sort of makeover which frightens children and sends small dogs whimpering to their kennels.
The six-week-old pet was only discovered by chance, whimpering in a back lane in Sunderland.
Famed for posing in front of the Big Brother mirrors shaving his chest, Jason was left whimpering after Julie gave him a wax.
Spare me the whimpering and the exasperation, and most definitely, the booing.
LIMBS in the Loch ripper William Beggs is a whimpering, snivelling, coward as he contemplates spending the next 20 years behind bars.
Well if that whimpering excuse for a woman is a "fighter" I'm the same dress size as Kate Moss.
Michelle, 23, and Stuart, 20, spent an hour whimpering, gasping and moaning in the early hours of yesterday morning in their makeshift bed which was built under the table to stop the cameras seeing inside.
Korn frontman Jonathan Davis' kid halrother, Marky Chavez, joins the family biz, whimpering like a pained puppy on a set of trite neo-metal kernels with titles like ``Pain Inside,'' ``Drowning'' and ``Giving In.
Staffordshire bull terrier Victoria was whimpering in shock when children found her below a 100ft viaduct in Victoria Road, Kirkcaldy, Fife last month.
Emaciated and dehydrated, the dog had been huddled near a tree, whimpering, the rescuers said.
Two-year-old border collie Spot fled his new home, crossed busy main roads and was found lying whimpering on the tomb of farmer Denis Goodier.
They were found whimpering in a barn after their mum and dad were shot by farmers.
This upset Ella, who refused to sit in the front and moved to the back seat, where she cowered, whimpering softly.
Pal Ricardo Alleyne then twice raped the whimpering 18-year-old.