There are several. I prefer "WOT er loo."
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one waterloo or multiple waterloos.)
Several places are named Waterloo, but in particular, the Belgian village of Waterloo was where Napoleon was totally defeated in 1815. So, a waterloo is a total defeat: a crushing, decisive, final defeat.
Some people capitalize it; some don't. Follow your preference.
How to use it:
The most common phrase is "meet your waterloo:" "She met her waterloo in the final round of the game and went home with nothing."
You can leave out the idea of "meeting" and talk more generally about somebody's waterloo ("the candidate's waterloo,") something's waterloo ("the company's waterloo,") or the waterloo of something, or the waterloo for something: "We thought the core science courses would be his waterloo, but he actually passed them." "The racist comments she kept making in public were the waterloo of her career." "The national competition is the waterloo for hundreds of overconfident participants each year."
The election of a leader who defunds educational and research institutions could mean a waterloo for progress.
Maybe it's hateful of me to enjoy this, but you know that cooking competition show where they interview a really arrogant chef, and then he meets his waterloo in the very first round? Yeah, that's fun to watch.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "waterloo” means when you can explain it without saying “total annihilation" or “absolute failure."
Think of something you're good at, and fill in the blanks: "I can/could/do/did/win/won _____, but when _____, I meet/met my waterloo."
Example: "In school, I won the FBLA district competition in business communication skills, but when I went to the state competition, I met my waterloo. Other kids there were much faster and better at answering the questions."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the thoughtful and thorough reference book that I got them from: Last Words of Notable People!
A Point Well Made:
Thomas Carlyle: "Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance - the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen."
1. The opposite of WATERLOO is
2. The most ubiquitous type of article online, it seems, promises to share the secrets related to some personal waterloo or another, like _____
A. gaining weight during the holiday season.
B. making money without investing any time or effort.
C. using so many coupons that the store pays you to take their stuff.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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