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Fail, go bankrupt, as in This company's about to go belly-up. This expression alludes to the posture of a dead fish in the water. [Slang; early 1900s] Also see go broke.
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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.
How to use go belly-up in a sentence
First, some individual state markets may simply go belly up because not enough people, or the wrong demographic mix, signed up.With More Competition and Choice, Obamacare Might Not Be So Horrible|Nick Gillespie|May 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST