two strikes against

Idioms & Phrases

two strikes against

Strong factors opposing, as in There are two strikes against her possibility of a promotion. This term comes from baseball, where a batter is allowed three strikes at a fairly pitched ball before being called out; thus, a batter with two strikes has but one more chance to hit a fair ball. The figurative use dates from the early 1900s.

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