sinking ship

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sinking ship (plural sinking ships)

  1. (idiomatic) Something which is doomed; an impending debacle; an ongoing disaster.
    • 1910, Mary Roberts Rinehart, When a Man Marries, ch. 2:
      He said that [] Bella had been perfectly right to leave him, because he was a sinking ship, and deserved to be turned out penniless into the world.
    • 1928, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, ch. 9:
      My word, won't it be funny when there's no Tevershall pit working. [] And now the men say it's a sinking ship, and it's time they all got out.
    • 2012 May 30, Haitham Maleh, "Opinion: A Peace Plan in Name Only," New York Times (retrieved 1 Aug 2012):
      [T]he only future for Syria is without the Assad political dynasty. [] The government is a sinking ship.
    Synonym: lost cause

Derived terms[edit]