Definition of go down the tubes (or tube) in US English:

go down the tubes (or tube)

phrase

informal
  • Be completely lost or wasted; fail utterly.

    ‘we watched his political career go down the tubes’
    • ‘Seeing my career go down the tubes always shakes me…’
    • ‘They know full well that unless they come up with a constant stream of big sellers their career will go down the tube.’
    • ‘The careers of a good many public servants have gone down the tubes for less.’
    • ‘Many cases have gone down the tubes simply because of bad police investigations.’
    • ‘I saw what happened when a dictator was allowed to take over a piece of a country and the country went down the tubes.’
    • ‘I felt it was my destiny to carry on like this, and it was a tremendous psychological blow when the business went down the tubes.’
    • ‘Now the novelty has worn off and the economy has gone down the tubes, but the artists are still coming.’
    • ‘His budget fails, and California's economy goes down the tubes.’
    • ‘Markets are collapsing and manufacturing is going down the tubes, but the people in the malls spend regardless.’
    • ‘How can anyone expect him to sit back and carry on as normal when so many councillors have gone down the tubes?’
    deteriorate, degenerate, decay, crumble, collapse, fail, fall, sink, slump, slip, slide, go downhill, worsen, get worse, go to rack and ruin, stagnate, atrophy, wither, weaken, fade, fade away, wane, ebb
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