Idioms

    go in/into the tank, Boxing Slang. to go through the motions of a match but deliberately lose because of an illicit prearrangement or fix; throw a fight.
    in the tank, Slang.
    1. failing, doing poorly, or declining: His grades were in the tank last quarter.
    2. favoring, colluding, or assisting in a partisan way (often followed by with or for): The talk-show host was in the tank with the Green Party.

Origin of tank

1610–20; perhaps jointly < Gujarati tānkh reservoir, lake, and Portuguese tanque, contraction of estanque pond, literally, something dammed up, derivative of estancar (< Vulgar Latin *stanticāre) to dam up, weaken; adopted as a cover name for the military vehicle during the early stages of its manufacture in England (December, 1915)
Related formstank·less, adjectivetank·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in the tank

tank

noun

a large container or reservoir for the storage of liquids or gasestanks for storing oil
  1. an armoured combat vehicle moving on tracks and armed with guns, etc, originally developed in World War I
  2. (as modifier)a tank commander; a tank brigade
British and US dialect a reservoir, lake, or pond
photog
  1. a light-tight container inside which a film can be processed in daylight, the solutions and rinsing waters being poured in and out without light entering
  2. any large dish or container used for processing a number of strips or sheets of film
slang, mainly US
  1. a jail
  2. a jail cell
Also called: tankful the quantity contained in a tank
Australian a dam formed by excavation

verb

(tr) to put or keep in a tank
(intr) to move like a tank, esp heavily and rapidly
slang to defeat heavily
(intr) informal to fail, esp commercially
See also tank up
Derived Formstankless, adjectivetanklike, adjective

Word Origin for tank

C17: from Gujarati tānkh artificial lake, but influenced also by Portuguese tanque, from estanque pond, from estancar to dam up, from Vulgar Latin stanticāre (unattested) to block, stanch
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

Word Origin and History for in the tank

tank

v.

"to lose or fail," 1976, originally in tennis jargon, but said there to be from boxing, from tank (n.) in some sense. Related: Tanked; tanking. Adjective tanked "drunk" is from 1893.

tank

n.

1610s, "pool or lake for irrigation or drinking water," a word originally brought by the Portuguese from India, ultimately from Gujarati tankh "cistern, underground reservoir for water," Marathi tanken, or tanka "reservoir of water, tank."

Perhaps from Sanskrit tadaga-m "pond, lake pool," and reinforced in later sense of "large artificial container for liquid" (1680s) by Portuguese tanque "reservoir," from estancar "hold back a current of water," from Vulgar Latin *stanticare (see stanch). But others say the Portuguese word is the source of the Indian ones.

Meaning "fuel container" is recorded from 1902. Military use originated 1915, partly as a code word, partly because they looked like benzene tanks. They were first used in action at Pozieres ridge, on the Western Front, Sept. 15, 1916. Slang meaning "detention cell" is from 1912.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with in the tank

tank

In addition to the idiom beginning with tank

  • tank up

also see:

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