down-and-out

[ doun-uh nd-out, -uh n ]
/ ˈdaʊn əndˈaʊt, -ən /

adjective

without any money, or means of support, or prospects; destitute; penniless.
without physical strength or stamina; disabled; incapacitated.
too physically weakened by repeated defeats to qualify as a competent professional boxer.

noun

Also down-and-out·er. a person who is down-and-out.

Origin of down-and-out

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90

Definition for down and out (2 of 2)

Origin of down

1
before 1100; Middle English doune, Old English dūne, aphetic variant of adūne for of dūne off (the) hill; see a-2, down3

Related forms

un·downed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (1 of 6)

Down

1
/ (daʊn) /

noun

a district of SE Northern Ireland, in Co Down. Pop: 65 195 (2003 est). Area: 649 sq km (250 sq miles)
a historical county of SE Northern Ireland, on the Irish Sea: generally hilly, rising to the Mountains of Mourne: in 1973 it was replaced for administrative purposes by the districts of Ards, Banbridge, Castlereagh, Down, Newry and Mourne, North Down, and part of Lisburn. Area: 2466 sq km (952 sq miles)

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (2 of 6)

Down

2
/ (daʊn) /

noun

any of various lowland breeds of sheep, typically of stocky build and having dense close wool, originating from various parts of southern England, such as Oxford, Hampshire, etcSee also Dorset Down
another name for Hampshire Down

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (3 of 6)

down-and-out

adjective

without any means of livelihood; impoverished and, often, socially outcast

noun

a person who is destitute and, often, homeless; a social outcast or derelict

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (4 of 6)

Word Origin for down

Old English dūne, short for adūne, variant of of dūne, literally: from the hill, from of, off + dūn hill; see down 3

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (5 of 6)

down

2
/ (daʊn) /

noun

the soft fine feathers with free barbs that cover the body of a bird and prevent loss of heat. In the adult they lie beneath and between the contour feathers
another name for eiderdown (def. 1)
botany a fine coating of soft hairs, as on certain leaves, fruits, and seeds
any growth or coating of soft fine hair, such as that on the human face

Word Origin for down

C14: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse dūnn

British Dictionary definitions for down and out (6 of 6)

down

3
/ (daʊn) /

noun

archaic a hill, esp a sand duneSee also downs (def. 1), Downs (def. 1)

Word Origin for down

Old English dūn; related to Old Frisian dūne, Old Saxon dūna hill, Old Irish dūn fortress, Greek this sandbank; see dune, town
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with down and out (1 of 2)

down and out

Lacking funds or prospects; destitute, penniless. For example, After losing his job, car, and home, he was completely down and out. This term probably originated in boxing, where it alludes to the fighter who is knocked down and stays down for a given time, thereby losing the bout. [c. 1900] Also see down for the count.


Idioms and Phrases with down and out (2 of 2)

down

In addition to the idioms beginning with down

  • down and dirty
  • down and out
  • down cold, have
  • down for the count
  • down in the dumps
  • down on
  • down one's alley
  • down one's neck
  • down one's nose
  • down on one's luck
  • down someone's throat
  • down the drain
  • down the hatch
  • down the line
  • down the pike
  • down the road
  • down the tubes
  • down to
  • down to earth
  • down to size
  • down to the ground
  • down to the wire
  • down with

also see:

  • back down
  • batten down the hatches
  • bear down
  • beat down
  • be down
  • belt down
  • bog down
  • boil down to
  • break down
  • breathe down one's neck
  • bring down
  • bring down the house
  • buckle down
  • build down
  • burn down
  • call down
  • cast down
  • caught with one's pants down
  • chow down
  • clamp down
  • close down
  • come down
  • come down on
  • come down to
  • come down with
  • cool down
  • cool off (down)
  • count down
  • crack down
  • cut down
  • deep down
  • die away (down)
  • dig down
  • draw down
  • dressing down
  • face down
  • fall down
  • flag down to
  • get down to brass tacks
  • go down (downhill)
  • go down the line
  • hand down
  • hands down
  • hold down
  • it's all downhill
  • jump down someone's throat
  • keep down
  • knock back (down)
  • knock down with a feather
  • knuckle down
  • lay down
  • lay down the law
  • lead down the garden path
  • let down easy
  • let one's hair down
  • let someone down
  • let the side down
  • lie down (on the job)
  • live down
  • look down on
  • lowdown, get the
  • mark down
  • mow down
  • nail down
  • pin down
  • pipe down
  • play down
  • plunk down
  • pull down
  • put down
  • put down roots
  • put one's foot down
  • ram down someone's throat
  • ring down the curtain
  • rub down
  • run down
  • scale down
  • sell down the river
  • send down
  • set down
  • settle down
  • shake down
  • shoot down
  • shout down
  • shut down
  • simmer down
  • sit down
  • slap down
  • slow down
  • splash down
  • stand down
  • stare down
  • step down
  • strike down
  • suit down to the ground
  • take down
  • take down a notch
  • take lying down
  • talk down to
  • tear down
  • the lowdown on
  • throw down the gauntlet
  • thumbs up (down)
  • tie down
  • tone down
  • touch down
  • track down
  • trade down
  • turn down
  • turn upside down
  • ups and downs
  • vote down
  • wash down
  • water down
  • wear down
  • weigh down
  • when it comes (down) to
  • when the chips are down
  • wind down
  • write down

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.