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down for the count




A metaphorical reference to the sport of boxing, where a contestant loses a match if knocked down and unable to get up before a referee has counted to ten.


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down for the count (not comparable)

  1. (idiomatic) Decisively beaten; defeated; rendered irrelevant for the long term.
    • 1912, Harold MacGrath, chapter 7, in The Place of Honeymoons:
      “But what puts me down for the count is the action of the fellow. Never showed up; just made her miss two performances.”
    • 1991 Nov. 4, Allan Kozinn, "Despite Odds, Many of Them, A Bedeviled Orchestra Persists," New York Times (retrieved 9 May 2013):
      But every time the music world thought it was down for the count, the orchestra has managed to rise again.
    • 2002 March 11, "Veni, Vidi, Gucci," Time:
      So, while Europe is still groggy and the U.S. is just starting to show signs of a pulse (and Japan of course is still down for the count), little Korea will grow anywhere from 3.2% to 6% this year.
  2. (figuratively) Unconscious or sound asleep.

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