One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Get the better of someone, typically in an underhanded way.
- ‘‘He brings great rigour to his arguments and if others cannot do the same they will be done down,’ said one financier.’
- ‘Never one to undervalue his own importance, he was able to face his public humiliation because he knew in his own mind that he had been done down by petty, smallminded people, not a match for his abilities and foresight.’
- ‘For a while there were rumours of a Labor rat out to do him down.’
- ‘He never faced a room full of twenty-first century youngsters who, at best, would rather be at home playing Playstation games and, at worst, were determined to do him down.’
- ‘Were the Gods contriving to do us down once more on the major stage of a Munster championship day?’
- ‘There is no small irony in the fact that he has been done down by the very forces he sought to win over to New Labour and whom he believed respected him for his authoritarianism and readiness to trample on democratic rights.’
- ‘Two years ago they did us down in the same stadium and, since then, their star has been rising and rising.’
- 1.1 Criticize someone or something.‘they're always moaning and doing British industry down’
belittle, disparage, denigrate, run down, deprecate, depreciate, cast aspersions on, discredit, vilify, defame, decry, criticize, abuse, insult, malignView synonyms
- ‘It also comes hot on the heels of allegations filtering back to the Maryhill area that certain other first division managers have been actively doing his side down in the press.’
- ‘The magazine's got a cheek to revel in London's victory when it always does its very best to do our city down.’
- ‘We don't want to do our country down, but please don't act as if we've got the problems under control.’
- ‘They always had faith in him despite the so-called experts who were only willing to do him down.’
- ‘It's ironic that one of our own should be doing us down again.’
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