View synonyms for in the hole

in the hole

  1. In a card game, scoring lower than zero. For example, Only one hand's been dealt and I'm already three points in the hole . This expression alludes to the practice of circling a minus score in the old game of euchre. The antonym for all three usages is out of the hole , as in It took careful financial management to get Kevin out of the hole , or An experienced pitcher often can manage to get out of the hole . Also see ace in the hole .

  2. In debt; in trouble, especially financial trouble. For example, Joan is too extravagant; she's always in the hole , or Buying all these Christmas presents will put us in the hole for the next few months . [ Colloquial ; early 1800s] Also see in a bind .

  3. In trouble in a competitive sport. For example, At three balls and no strikes, the pitcher's in the hole , or The batter's got two strikes on him; he's in the hole . [ Slang ; late 1800s]

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Example Sentences

Instead, he kept those plans in reserve, an ace-in-the-hole, if tough new sanctions failed to bring Pyongyang around.

And they set out at an easy swing down the steep road to the village of Grassley-in-the-Hole.

We're going to have sausage-toad-in-the-hole, and mind you don't burn it.

It was the culinary forefather of toad-in-the-hole, hot-pot, Irish stew, and of that devil-dreaded Cornish pasty.

Afternoon, noisy and bloody at her Majesty's bear-garden at Hockly-in-the-Hole.

The next year, again, they are all for Hockley-in-the-Hole and bear-baiting.





in the heat ofin the hope