Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(final) nail in the coffin

nail in the coffinfinal nail in the coffin
Meaning(s)
1) an event/situation that makes it more likely something will fail
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • his/her latest mistake was another nail in the coffin of his/her career
  • Analysis
    This idiomatic expression is used to talk about the final action or event that ended or destroyed something that was already failing. Something that is ‘the final nail in the coffin’ makes it impossible or very unlikely to succeed. Similar in meaning to ‘the last straw’ or ‘the straw that broke the camels back’. This is an informal phrase more likely to be used in social contexts.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. The politician's offensive remarks were the final nail in the coffin of his campaign which has been beset by controversies from the outset.
    2. The parking ticket was the final nail in the coffin for her savings.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Another poor month of sales would be a nail in the coffin of the company. They urgently need to turn things around before it's too late.
    2. The latest online news app is being described as another nail in the coffin of the printed press.
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