a nail in the/someone's coffin


: something that makes it more likely that someone or something will fail, be destroyed, etc.
Every mistake is one more nail in the coffin of his professional baseball career.
The lawyers put another nail in her coffin today.

Examples of a nail in the/someone's coffin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While Trump's dominance made the path for marginal candidates like Scott and Christie vanishingly narrow quite early in the race, qualification rules may serve as a nail in the coffin. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 4 Dec. 2023 Instead, the movie was a nail in the coffin for DC and Batman movies for years, with Batman finally returning to the big-screen with 2005’s Batman Begins. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 June 2023 Amid operational pivots and threats to public health, slapping one star on a struggling restaurant seemed particularly brutal—especially given that bad ratings in general can be a nail in the coffin for food businesses. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 26 Oct. 2022 Both teams swapped empty possessions following Prince’s second score of the game but the Blazers were able to put a nail in the coffin as Hopkins found Trea Shropshire for a 38-yard touchdown and 30-0 lead with a little more than a minute remaining in the first half. Evan Dudley, al, 19 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'a nail in the/someone's coffin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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a nail in the/someone's coffin


Cite this Entry

“A nail in the/someone's coffin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/a%20nail%20in%20the%2Fsomeone%27s%20coffin. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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