drop the ball

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to the rules of such games as baseball or football.

Verb[edit]

drop the ball

  1. (idiomatic) To fail in one's responsibilities or duties, or to make a mistake, especially at a critical point or when the result is very negative.
    • 1996 Dec. 13, Peter Stack, "Tom and ‘Jerry’ Make a Great Team" (film review of Jerry Maguire), San Franciso Chronicle (retrieved 21 Sept 2013):
      The movie ought to sputter out here, but Crowe and Cruise don't drop the ball.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • drop the ball” in the Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.