Definition of go up in smoke in English:

go up in smoke

phrase

informal
  • 1Be destroyed by fire.

    ‘three hundred tons of straw went up in smoke’
    • ‘A TEENAGER'S Christmas presents went up in smoke when a fire caused by a scented candle destroyed her bedroom.’
    • ‘They have been in the shadow of a smouldering eyesore since Brimrod Mill and the tyres depot inside went up in smoke in November 2002.’
    • ‘Fires started spontaneously and kitchen appliances went up in smoke.’
    • ‘IT is 11 months since Hilary Baker and Mac Turner watched helplessly as their Castle Combe home and business went up in smoke.’
    • ‘Vital funding for Settle Swimming Pool has gone up in smoke after vandals again set fire to a paper recycling trailer.’
    • ‘How did she feel when the embroidered tent, along with some of her other pieces, went up in smoke earlier this year?’
    • ‘The blaze at Clarks' Farm in Crabb's Lane, Kelvedon, started after a trailer load of hemp stored within a corrugated steel barn went up in smoke.’
    • ‘When a fire swept through her neighborhood, her home and the beautiful trees all went up in smoke.’
    • ‘An elderly couple today told how they could only stand and watch as hundreds of pounds worth of property went up in smoke after arsonists struck at their home.’
    • ‘She pulled over and immediately got the passengers out before the whole bus went up in smoke.’
    1. 1.1 (of a plan) come to nothing.
      ‘more than one dream is about to go up in smoke’
      • ‘That plan almost went up in smoke in an instant, but Hartley's strike from the edge of the area went narrowly wide for Hearts.’
      • ‘Most of the evidence against his killers went up in smoke after his murder.’
      • ‘But as retirement nears, the company and its pension scheme goes up in smoke and with it your plans for a comfortable old age.’
      • ‘‘All that work on a bill of some twelve hundred pages had gone up in smoke,’ he writes of an energy bill passed by the House that didn't make it through the Senate.’
      • ‘If that had been a harder frost, it could have been a year's worth of work gone up in smoke.’
      • ‘The new Pension Protection Fund will bail out pensioners whose companies go bust in future and the Government has gone part way to help those whose pensions have already gone up in smoke with an offer of £400m in compensation.’
      • ‘Well I gave it a try and quickly discovered that I had two left feet and my dreams went up in smoke.’
      • ‘But that plan went up in smoke with the granting of planning permission for the Bellanaboy terminal.’
      • ‘Unsurprisingly, morale was low and normal etiquette went up in smoke.’
      • ‘But in the mid-1960s divorce was a disaster, and people did feel like a failure because their American dream had gone up in smoke.’
      go awry, go amiss, go adrift, go off course, fail, not succeed, be unsuccessful, go badly, be ruined, fall through, fall flat, fall apart, come apart at the seams, break down, come to nothing, flounder, collapse, meet with disaster, backfire, rebound, boomerang, misfire, miscarry, abort
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