"End in smoke" is a popular idiom that means to fail or to come to nothing. It's often used when describing projects, plans, or dreams that have failed to materialize, leaving nothing behind but disappointment and wasted effort.
"End in smoke" means to fail or be unsuccessful after a lot of effort, excitement, or activity.
When something "ends in smoke," it's as if all the hard work, time, and resources invested in it have evaporated into thin air, just like smoke. The phrase typically conveys a sense of frustration, disappointment, or disillusionment with the outcome of a situation or endeavor.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning:
The phrase "end in smoke" originates from the idea that smoke represents insubstantiality and disappearance. When something "ends in smoke," it means it's disappearing without leaving anything tangible or meaningful behind, just like smoke dissipates into the air. The idiom has been used in English language literature for centuries, expressing failed endeavors or fruitless outcomes.
"That after all the great Clamour that had been rais'd, their Secret Committee would end in Smoke."
- The Whole Proceedings Against Robert, Earl of Oxford, 1715
To understand the idiom's usage better, let's look at its use in various contexts:
From books to movies, the idiom "end in smoke" often appears in popular culture:
There are several synonyms and phrases that can be used as alternatives to "end in smoke," depending on the context:
The phrase "end in smoke" refers to the disappointing end of plans or efforts, typically resulting in failure or non-achievement.
The idiom originates from the metaphor of smoke, which represents insubstantiality and disappearance, to convey fruitless outcomes or failed endeavors.
Generally, "end in smoke" has negative connotations, indicating failed efforts or unsuccessful outcomes. It's rarely associated with positive contexts.
"End in smoke" can be used in both formal and informal contexts. However, in more formal or academic writing, it might be more appropriate to use phrases like "came to nothing" or "failed to produce desired results".
You can replace "end in smoke" with phrases like "come to nothing," "fall through," or "go down the drain," depending on the context.
"End in smoke" is a universal English idiom, understood and used in both British and American English, as well as other English-speaking regions.
Yes, "end in smoke" is a common idiom and is frequently used in everyday conversation, especially when discussing failed plans or unsuccessful attempts.
Yes, "end in smoke" is often used to describe temporary situations. It typically signifies an event or attempt that has resulted in failure or non-achievement.
While "end in smoke" generally describes situations or events, it can indirectly refer to individuals, as in, "His plans to become a millionaire ended in smoke."
"End in smoke" is a figurative idiom, not typically used in a literal sense. It metaphorically represents the vanishing or non-existence of outcomes, like smoke disappearing in the air.
The phrase "end in smoke" vividly captures the frustration and disappointment accompanying failed plans or unsuccessful endeavors.
Here's a quick recap: