Idiom:  washed up


Idiom:  washed up

  • when someone's career is no longer successful

Note:  When using this idiom as an adjective (before a noun), remember to add a hyphen: washed-up.

Example sentences

  • It's very common to see washed-up actors trying to become directors later in their careers.
  • In Hollywood, it's hard to be a female actor because they consider you washed up by the time you reach 30.
  • If you want to hear washed-up singers, go to your local community fair grounds where they often perform at local events.
  • Many child actors' careers are washed up by the time they reach 18 and then they simply go on to attend college with their peers.
  • With the advent of reality shows like "Big Brother," "Dancing with the Stars," and "Celebrity Rehab," many washed-up celebrities have a second chance to be on television. 
  • After a tragic accident on the football field, the quarterback's career was washed up after just one season.
  • My parents are worried I'll be a washed-up dancer in just a few years so I've been enrolled in college part-time and will get my degree in 8 years.
  • After her career in tennis was washed up due to injury, Andrea Yeager dedicated her life to public service, charities and philanthropy.
  • While most gymnasts are washed up by age 21, many tennis players are still competing in their mid-30s.


  • down and out
  • done for

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