- the cords used to enclose a prize ring or other space.
- Informal. the operations of a business or the details of any undertaking: The new employee didn't take long to learn the ropes.
verb (used with object), roped, rop·ing.
verb (used without object), roped, rop·ing.
Words nearby rope
Idioms for rope
- Boxing. in a defenseless position, as leaning against the ropes to keep from falling.
- Informal. in a desperate or hopeless position; close to defeat or failure: By repeatedly undercutting his prices, his competitors soon had him on the ropes.
Origin of rope
OTHER WORDS FROM roperop·er, nounrope·like, adjectiveun·roped, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for on the ropes
- a fairly thick cord made of twisted and intertwined hemp or other fibres or of wire or other strong material
- (as modifier)a rope bridge; a rope ladder
- a rope, noose, or halter used for hanging
- death by hanging, strangling, etc
- to have a thorough understanding of a particular sphere of activity
- to be experienced in the ways of the world
- boxing driven against the ropes enclosing the ring by an opponent's attack
- in a defenceless or hopeless position
Word Origin for rope
Idioms and Phrases with on the ropes (1 of 2)
On the verge of defeat or collapse, helpless, as in They acknowledged that their campaign was on the ropes, and they could not possibly win the election. This expression, alluding to a boxer forced back to the ropes of the ring and leaning against them for support, has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.
Idioms and Phrases with on the ropes (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with rope
- rope in
- end of one's rope
- enough rope
- (show someone) know the ropes
- on the ropes