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Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does another nail in one's coffin mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

another nail in one's coffin


If you describe something as another nail in the coffin of another thing, you mean that it is one in a series of events that lead to the downfall or inevitable failure of that thing.


The phrase “another nail in one's coffin” alludes to a body being nailed into a wooden coffin. Although each nail that is hammered into the coffin ensures that the top board of the coffin will be tightly shut for burial, it is the final nail that is very significant.

The first use of the idiom is credited to an English satirist, Peter Pindar, in his Expostulatory Odes to a Great Duke in 1789:
“Care to our coffin adds a nail, no doubt;
and ev’ry grin, so merry, draws one out”.


- After the bankruptcy and the death of his only son, divorce is just another nail in his coffin.
- His final aggressive remarks put the final nail in the coffin of his marriage.
- Failing to write a report about the last general assembly put another nail in the coffin of Jane’s career.

This idiom is in the death category

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