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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]

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