when the chips are down

Definition of when the chips are down

informal
:in a difficult situation :when things are not good
  • True friends will stand by you when the chips are down.

Word by Word Definitions

chip play chips
  1. : a small usually thin and flat piece (as of wood or stone) cut, struck, or flaked off

  2. : a small piece of food: such as

  3. : a small thin slice of food

  1. : to cut or hew with an edged tool

  2. : to cut or break (a small piece) from something

  3. : to cut or break a fragment from

down play
  1. : toward or in a lower physical position

  2. : to a lying or sitting position

  3. : toward or to the ground, floor, or bottom

  1. : down (see 1down) along, around, through, toward, in, into, or on

  1. : to cause to go or come down (see 1down) : such as

  2. : to cause to fall by or as if by shooting : bring down

  3. : consume

  1. : occupying a low position

  2. : directed or going downward

  3. : lower in price

  1. : descent, depression

  2. : an instance of putting down someone (such as an opponent in wrestling)

  3. : a complete play to advance the ball

  1. : an undulating usually treeless upland with sparse soil

  2. : a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England

  1. : a covering of soft fluffy feathers

  2. : something soft and fluffy like down

  1. : down syndrome


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