out on one's feet

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the sport of boxing, referring to fighter who is too stunned to fight effectively, but who does not collapse to the canvas.

Adjective[edit]

out on one's feet

  1. (idiomatic) Standing erect but not consciously aware of one's surroundings, or only minimally aware, and having little or no ability to control one's bodily actions, as a result of physical injury or exhaustion.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) Stupefied; dazed; nonfunctional.
    • 1945 April 9, "Puffy, The Hypnotizing Cat, Named Honorary Feline Society President," St. Petersburg Times, p. 5 (retrieved 10 May 2013):
      "Well sir, that girl was simply out on her feet. It wasn't from drinking, either. I'm something of a hypnotist myself and I quickly realized that she was in a real hypnotic trance, brought on by Puffy's staring into her eyes."
    • 1955 August 31, "Merchants Form Plan To Aid Small Business: Will help those hit by floods," The Hartford Courant, p. 1 (retrieved 18 May 2013):
      According to Savitt there are many such small concerns who are out on their feet, and still in a state of shock.
    • 1968 March 23, John Bird, "The new PM: tired before he starts," Financial Post (Canada), p. 32 (retrieved 10 May 2013):
      The new leader who will be elected on April 6, becoming Prime Minister shortly thereafter, is likely to be very nearly out on his feet.

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