go to the wall


1

Lose a conflict, be defeated; also, yield. For example, In spite of their efforts, they went to the wall, or When it's a matter of family versus friends, friends must go to the wall. [Late 1500s]

2

Fail in business, go bankrupt. For example, First one branch and then another did poorly, and the store finally went to the wall. [First half of 1800s]

3

Take an extreme position, hold out to the end. For example, The President went to the wall to defend his choice to head the FBI. For a synonym, see go to the mat.

QUIZZES

BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.