Definition of on the rocks in English:

on the rocks


  • 1(of a relationship or enterprise) experiencing difficulties and likely to fail.

    ‘his marriage was on the rocks’
    • ‘His relationship with Sissy on the rocks, Bud takes to practicing bull riding.’
    • ‘My relationship has been on the rocks ever since my boyfriend left our ballet company to join a dance troupe in another state.’
    • ‘Her parents' marriage is on the rocks as she embarks upon a career in television news.’
    • ‘This film is a tragicomic ensemble piece about people on the edge and love on the rocks.’
    • ‘At the time of making the film, the director's own marriage was on the rocks and he was romantically involved with an actress.’
    • ‘Like many American men of 35-40 today, he's adrift, not sure where the stream of life may take him now that his original life plan is all messed up and pretty much on the rocks.’
    • ‘He finds himself a single dad, with a career on the rocks, living in New Jersey with his father.’
    • ‘The elder daughter finds to her consternation that her marriage is on the rocks.’
    • ‘He may have been lucky in business, but his marriage is on the rocks, his daughter barely speaks to him and even his friend, Francis, holds little interest.’
    • ‘Feigning being in love and making googly eyes isn't too much of a challenge; convincingly portraying a long-time couple whose relationship is on the rocks is the tough part.’
    in difficulty, in trouble, breaking down, practically over, heading for divorce, heading for the divorce courts
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  • 2(of a drink) served undiluted and with ice cubes.

    ‘he ordered a Scotch on the rocks’
    • ‘This film is the thematic and cinematic equivalent of scotch on the rocks: golden and fiery, burning the throat, but continually surrounded and chilled by giant blocks of ice.’
    • ‘He starts smoking an exclusive brand of cigarette and drinking single malt whisky on the rocks.’
    • ‘When not ‘landing’ a big client, she cares for her aging father, and sexes it up with her fiancé, who looks like he drinks Vitalis on the rocks.’
    • ‘While ‘celebrating’ in the hotel lounge (her idea of a party is scotch on the rocks and a corner to herself), she runs into Paula.’
    • ‘There were a number of still lifes, including Dina's Nikes, a pair of red running shoes against a field of creamy white, and a painting of two glasses of Scotch on the rocks sitting on a black table.’
    • ‘My favorite drink is malt scotch, either on the rocks or with a splash of soda and a twist.’
    with ice, on ice
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