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meet one's Waterloo

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To encounter one's ultimate obstacle and to be defeated by it: “After beating dozens of challengers, the champion finally met his Waterloo.” From the Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon Bonaparte was finally defeated.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Idioms and Phrases with meet one's Waterloo

meet one's Waterloo

Suffer a major defeat, as in Our team's done well this season but is about to meet its Waterloo. This term alludes to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Belgium, in 1815, marking the end of his military domination of Europe. It was being transferred to other kinds of defeat by the mid-1800s.

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