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washed up | washed-up

Meaning: having failed, having lost everything

For example:

  • Jim used to be a successful businessman, but now that his company's gone bankrupt and he's lost everything, he's washed up.

  • Masako was shocked by the number of washed-up, homeless people she saw on the streets of American cities.

Note: If used before a noun, a hyphen can be added, as in "a washed-up old alcoholic".

Quick Quiz:

If someone's described as being washed up, they are probably
  1. very clean
  2. very poor
  3. very honest

Discuss: washed up | washed-up

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