Definition of washed-up in English:



  • 1Deposited by the tide on a shore.

    ‘washed-up jellyfish’
    • ‘The carcass of the 27 ft mammal was washed-up and became stuck on rocks at Oxwich Bay in the Gower peninsula.’
    • ‘I walked the tide line to find the morning's washed-up gifts; stepped carefully between jellyfish the size of dinner plates; dug for escaping mole crabs and wiggling coquinas in hand-made tidal pools.’
    • ‘Flat as a washed-up jellyfish, the 217 hectare sand cay is only 4m above sea level at its highest point.’
    • ‘Most of these insects colonized the margins of the sea: places such as mangrove forests, salt marshes, tide pools, sandy beaches, clumps of washed-up seaweed, and crevices at the upper reaches of rocky shores.’
    ruined, finished, destroyed, broken, wrecked, undone, doomed, lost, defeated, beaten, foiled, frustrated, thwarted
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  • 2informal No longer effective or successful.

    ‘a washed-up actress’
    • ‘Private eye Harry Moseby is hired by a washed-up actress to find her runaway teenage daughter.’
    • ‘It's funny how most of that generation of comedians have transformed into washed-up has-beens or else are producing safe, unchallenging cosy comedy for the 35-55 age group.’
    • ‘At an interview for a job writing material for a serious stand-up comic, Jerry meets David Dobel, a washed-up comic writer in his sixties reduced to teaching at a Manhattan high school.’
    • ‘He plays a boozy, washed-up lawyer who takes an 18-year-old legal whiz kid under his wing.’
    • ‘Bill Murray is a washed-up actor doing commercials in Japan.’
    • ‘I went there to laugh at the washed-up child star, and I'm sorry that I ever thought like that.’
    • ‘Kiki is a washed-up, boozed-up chanteuse whose middle age passed her by some time ago and Herb, her piano-battering, lifelong accompanist provides musical underscoring to her rants and raves.’
    • ‘As far as I know, none of them are washed-up, alcoholic, chain smoking, horny celebrities.’
    • ‘His performance is also a tour de force, and it is a measure of how much the viewer buys in to his character, a washed-up TV actor, that you are left doubting the sincerity of his big emotional scene.’
    • ‘Just as the sea looks ready to submerge the coastal burgh of Montrose, so has its football club become a harbour for washed-up professionals.’
    • ‘Both her tone and her tune epitomize soul and bring her character, a washed-up cabaret dancer, to life.’
    • ‘The judge asks him if he can think of any reason he shouldn't be shipped off to prison and if there's anyone out there who cares about a washed-up has-been.’
    • ‘Yet somehow, in French director Benoit Jacquot's latest feature, Sade, the Marquis seems more washed-up old rebel than intriguing and sexy personality.’
    • ‘The world does not need another washed-up metal musician.’
    • ‘Luke Wilson, as Richie, the washed-up tennis champion in love with his sister, offers some of the most moving scenes in the film, and manages it all while sporting sunglasses and a sweatband.’
    • ‘He's a compellingly close-to-the-bone pastiche of washed-up stand-ups.’
    • ‘Some Marvel staffers, in terms they now regret or deny, denounced his work as the ravings of a washed-up, senile old man.’
    • ‘He beat Keating in 1996, partly by casting himself as a champion of ordinary Aussies and Keating as representative of a washed-up elite.’
    • ‘In a matter of a few weeks, William Hague, once head of a struggling gathering of washed-up, latter-day Tories, has seen his fortunes miraculously transformed.’
    • ‘The world would be a much better place if today's washed-up actresses saw patriotism as the route to respectability.’