go up in flames

Idioms & Phrases

go up in flames

Also, go up in smoke. Be utterly destroyed, as in This project will go up in flames if the designer quits, or All our work is going up in smoke. This idiom transfers a fire to other kinds of destruction. [Early 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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