One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A battle fought on June 18, 1815, near the village of Waterloo (in what is now Belgium), in which Napoleon's army was defeated by the British (under the Duke of Wellington) and Prussians. The allied pursuit caused Napoleon's army to disintegrate entirely, ending his bid to return to power.
- 1.1as noun a Waterloo A decisive defeat or failure.‘his team met their Waterloo’
undoing, ruin, ruination, loss of power, loss of prosperity, loss of statusView synonyms
- ‘Woods wasn't alone - Colin Montgomerie, David Toms and Phil Mickelson all met their Waterloos in the wet stuff - but like a true champion he bounced back.’
- ‘Whether it is a Waterloo or blue skies for the airline, Ryanair shareholders will be only too pleased to see de Palacio reporting to the full commission as soon as possible.’
- ‘Alexander had barely a moment to piece this information together before Will's battle with the figure turned to a Waterloo.’
- ‘But in the epic battle over the state's environmental policies, the recent decision by the state Supreme Court to restrict the clinic was a Waterloo for environmentalists.’
- ‘Building societies faced just such a Waterloo a few years ago, when at one stage it was as if the entire sector would be swallowed up by the banks.’
- ‘The 1910 election was a Waterloo for the Taft administration's naval policy.’
- ‘But while awaiting this plan D, it is Europe that has suffered a Waterloo this June 18.’
- ‘From installation to usage to tweaking, this is a release that is fun for the techies and, well, much less of a Waterloo for novice users.’
- 1.1as noun a Waterloo A decisive defeat or failure.
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