What Does "Met His Waterloo Mean"?


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Lakshmipriya Nair Profile
This phrase originates from the war at Waterloo, Belgium where Napoleon was defeated by the Allied forces led by Wellington. This incident happened in 1815 and marked the end of his military dominion. The phrase "met with his Waterloo signifies meeting with a devastating and utter defeat. It indicates that someone who has been successful in the past was defeated or had to face failure by someone or something that proved to be too much of problem or a dilemma for them.

Thus this phrase or idiom is a reference to suffering a major defeat. Though it was initially an expression for Napoleon's defeat it gradually became a common phrase that indicated other defeats also by the mid-1800s. Since then whenever somebody is thoroughly routed in a humiliating manner then he is said to have met his Waterloo.

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