in flames

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See also: inflames and inflamés



By analogy with fighter planes being shot down and bursting into flames.

Prepositional phrase[edit]

in flames

  1. (figuratively, with a verb) Dramatically and with no hope of recovery.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Chiefly used in constructions such as "go down in flames" and "shoot down in flames", often in the passive voice