Definition of fiasco in English:



  • A complete failure, especially a ludicrous or humiliating one.

    ‘his plans turned into a fiasco’
    • ‘The recent fiasco over parking charges has demonstrated their arrogance and incompetence.’
    • ‘It was a fiasco and a disaster, but the courage of the soldiers impressed even the Russians.’
    • ‘Remembering the Government's record on previous computer purchase fiascos this is scheduled to be another expensive disaster.’
    • ‘Saturday's losing team, meanwhile, apologised for one of the biggest soccer fiascos Germany has ever suffered, expressing shame and remorse for only their second ever World Cup qualifying defeat.’
    • ‘I hope none of you were ensnared in the Comair-USAir fiascos!’
    • ‘If Namibia was a real constitutional democracy, President Nujoma should have been called to clear up scandals, fiascos and debacles that have characterized, mainly, the last five years of his rule.’
    • ‘Of course, there is also the parade of endless cartoons, strangely addictive infomercials, public access fiascos and creepy children's programming when the movie selection gets too boring.’
    • ‘The first is that the Americans attacked before they were really ready, either because of the diplomatic fiascos with Turkey and in the UN, or due to pressure to beat the summer heat.’
    • ‘Scotland Yard immediately launched an internal inquiry into the handling of the cases against both butlers which are estimated to have cost £2m and ended in one of the biggest legal fiascos in recent years.’
    • ‘At the start of the new millennium, the corporate world witnessed major fiascos and ethical blunders.’
    • ‘When we see true ‘dictatorship,’ as opposed to yet another permutation of Parliamentary fiascos, we will see it in the eyes of the hysterical, not from their mouths.’
    • ‘Let us hope they can avoid the procurement fiascos of the old JPS program by implementing revised procurement procedures for contract awards (as suggested herein).’
    • ‘Those inclined to believe in the ‘guiding hand’ of the Creator would doubtless deduce that he is squarely on the prince's side too, since the lecture fortuitously coincided with two more GM fiascos.’
    • ‘The paper was forced to publish a humiliating front page apology for the fiasco the following day.’
    • ‘Also, it was about hearing stories of people who have failed or in their time success never happened, but in fact their fiascos and disasters turned into triumphs that few people could have expected.’
    • ‘If there are any baking fiascos this year with the bread I'm going to quit this tradition and just start making bunnies out of Rice Krispy treats.’
    • ‘A string of fiascos define Surrey's infamy in the media: home invasions, racial tension, murders, drugs, and a horribly misguided school board.’
    • ‘Large events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games are often plagued by budget overruns, slack ticket sales and venue fiascos but bad publicity about Manchester has been notably absent.’
    • ‘By contrast, Churchill was keen to distance himself from various amphibious fiascos, especially the defeat at Dieppe in August 1942, which nobody can remember ordering.’
    failure, disaster, catastrophe, debacle, shambles, farce, mess, wreck, ruin, ruination, blunder, botch, abortion
    flop, washout, dud, hash, lead balloon, foul-up, screw-up, fail
    pig's ear, cock-up, car crash
    fuck-up, balls-up
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Mid 19th century: from Italian, literally bottle, flask, in the phrase far fiasco, literally make a bottle, figuratively fail in a performance: the reason for the figurative sense is unexplained.