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fiasco

[fee-as-koh or especially for 2, -ah-skoh] /fiˈæs koʊ or especially for 2, -ˈɑ skoʊ/
noun, plural fiascos, fiascoes.
1.
a complete and ignominious failure.
2.
a round-bottomed glass flask for wine, especially Chianti, fitted with a woven, protective raffia basket that also enables the bottle to stand upright.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; < Italian: literally, bottle < Germanic (see flask1); sense “failure” from Italian phrase far fiasco to fail, literally, to make a bottle, idiom of uncertain origin
Synonyms
1. disaster, catastrophe, debacle, flop, bomb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for fiasco
  • Most astounding of all was the way he turned a fiasco into a great success.
  • The role of race in the present fiasco is anything but clear.
  • The administrative participants of this fiasco should apply the same standards of perfection to themselves and resign.
  • Accordingly, some of the furor over the fiasco has died down.
  • Even this fiasco did not seriously damage the company's strength.
  • Regarding the banking fiasco lets try to use history and some of the facts to see what got us here.
  • But stonewalling as they did during the debt-limit fiasco is likely to play into the president's hands.
  • What caused this fiasco, who is to blame and what it means for investors has been the subject of much debate.
  • The rescue attempt that unfolded was a fiasco for many reasons.
  • Correct the current fiasco of payment limitation loopholes and it will immediately slow down the demise of the family farm.
British Dictionary definitions for fiasco

fiasco

/fɪˈæskəʊ/
noun (pl) -cos, -coes
1.
a complete failure, esp one that is ignominious or humiliating
Word Origin
C19: from Italian, literally: flask; sense development obscure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fiasco
n.

1855, theater slang for "a failure," by 1862 acquired the general sense of any dismal flop, on or off the stage. Via French phrase fiare fiasco "turn out a failure" (19c.), from Italian far fiasco "suffer a complete breakdown in performance," literally "make a bottle," from fiasco "bottle," from Late Latin flasco, flasconem (see flask).

The reason for all this is utterly obscure today, but "the usual range of fanciful theories has been advanced" [Ayto]. Weekley finds it utterly mysterious and compares French ramasser un pelle "to come a cropper (in bicycling), literally to pick up a shovel." OED makes nebulous reference to "alleged incidents in Italian theatrical history." Klein suggests Venetian glass-crafters tossing aside imperfect pieces to be made later into common flasks. But according to an Italian dictionary, fare il fiasco used to mean "to play a game so that the one that loses will pay the fiasco," in other words, he will buy the next bottle (of wine). That plausibly connects the word with the notion of "a costly mistake."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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