you can't win


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(one) can't win

1. One is unable to find or create any success; one has been constantly and/or thoroughly defeated, bested, belittled, etc., in recent times. So Mary divorced John after their company went under, and then his mother died a week later? Man, that guy can't win lately. That's the third manuscript to be rejected by the publishers; I guess I just can't win.
2. One cannot please someone or everyone. The kids aren't happy if they don't have the same fancy gadgets as their friends, and Mary's not happy if I buy the things for them—I can't win! First he criticizes me for spending too much time at home, then he criticizes me for being away too often with my friends. I just can't win with him.
See also: win

you can't win

Also, you just can't win. Whatever one does is wrong or not enough, as in Every time I block one of the woodchuck's holes, I find another; you just can't win. [First half of 1900s] For a synonym, see damned if I do, damned if I don't.
See also: win
References in classic literature ?
I suppose you can't help it, if it's not in your nature--but I WONDER you can't win the confidence of that girl, and make your society at LEAST as agreeable to her as that of Robert or Joseph
LIVERPOOL boss Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Jose Mourinho's jibes by telling him: You can't win the game after it's over.
The way to look at it is whether I can still win the championship, and as a world champion and someone who wants to fight for a world championship, you don't give up until you can't win it.
To the best of my knowledge you can't win if you never play.
You know the myth: You can't win with conservatives because they are power-hungry, environment-destroying, money-grubbing, lying, racist, homophobic radicals composing the Far, Far (did we mention Far?
And if you can't win the hearts and minds of the people, you can't win the war.
You Can't Win A Fight With Your Boss & 55 Other Rules For Success (0060776625, $14.
And worse, for the poor employee responsible for the move, it's a clear case of you can't win for losing.
O'Reilly shot back: "We all know you can demonize your opponent when you can't win an argument.
Surely it's against trading standards - a gamble where you can't win.
And keep an eye out for Deitch's cameo as the tatted-up gambler with the exotic European accent who tells Shaver, "If you don't play, you can't win.
Out of 14 races, we did not finish five times and you can't win a championship that way.
I could have done it in four words: Men, you can't win.
TURIN, Italy - Figure skaters love to say you can lose a gold medal in the short program, but you can't win one.
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