down the tubes

Slang Dictionary

tube definition

  1. n.
    a can of beer. (See also crack a tube.) : Toss me a tube, will ya?
  2. n.
    the inner curve of a tall wave. (Surfing. See also tubular.) : I'm waiting for the best tube.
  3. in.
    to fail; to go down the tube(s). (See also tube it.) : The whole plan tubed at the last minute.
  4. n.
    a television set. : The tube is in the shop, so I read a book.
  5. n.
    a cigarette. : There's a pack of tubes in my jacket.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

down the tubes

Also, down the tube. Into a state of failure or ruin, as in If he failed the test, his chances went down the tubes. ] Colloquial; 1960s] Also see down the drain.

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