down for the count

Idioms & Phrases

down for the count

Defeated, finished, doomed, as in I doubt if he'll ever leave the hospital; his illness really has him down for the count. This expression alludes to the losing boxer, unable to get to his feet before the umpire has counted to ten (the count). [1920s]

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