cash in one's chips

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cash in one's chips

  1. (idiomatic) To discontinue an activity, accepting whatever gains or losses one has incurred; to give up.
    • 1913, B. M. Bower, chapter 13, in The Gringos:
      "Looks like these grandees'll have to cash in their chips and quit, but it's a darned shame."
    • 1988 Oct. 25, Andrea Adelson, "Business People: Harrah's Officer Joins Resorts International," New York Times (retrieved 14 June 2011):
      Yesterday the polo-playing executive cashed in his chips at Harrah's to take a post with even higher stakes, agreeing to become president and chief executive of Resorts International Inc.
    • 2005 June 21, Thomas McCarroll, "Corporate Raider on the Ropes," Time:
      "I am not going to stand by and watch this company bleed to death. If we can't make money, I will cash in my chips."
  2. (idiomatic) To die.
    • 1950 Jan. 10, H. L. MacPherson, "Another Outlaw Dies With Boots Off," Windsor Star (Canada) (retrieved 14 June 2011):
      A tough old hombre, unregenerate to the last, cashed in his chips in Oklahoma City the other day.
    • 1982 Jan. 24, Evan Hunter, "Spies and Moles and Other Entertainers," New York Times (retrieved 14 June 2011):
      So what are trained readers of spy novels supposed to believe when Michael cashes in his chips and two strangers arrive to remove his body from the premises?
    • 2007 Feb. 7, Cowboy Dan Lewis, "Two Birds, But No Stone," Julian News (California, USA), p. 6 (retrieved 14 June 2011):
      Two years and one month ago I broke my neck in a car accident. I made it through but just barely. I came real close to cashing in my chips.


See also[edit]