Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


belly up

go belly up


  • to die
  • to fail
  • shut down a business
  • go bankrupt


  1. Many companies went belly up during the great inflation.
  2. Due to rising attraction of online business, small vendors seem to belly up within few years.
  3. The builder went belly up after having lost his case to the government.
  4. The new restaurant in town went belly up just after a month of its inauguration.
  5. His failed dream of being a singer has gone belly up.
  6. The sports team lost their last series & went belly up.
  7. The entrepreneur went belly up when the stock market declined & he lost his shares.
  8. It takes great effort to make a business survive in the market. 70% businesses go belly up during the first decade itself.
  9. The industrialist went belly up during the earthquake when his entire land & mills were destroyed.

Usage: Usually said about business and other organizations.

Based on the idea of a dead animal found lying on its back, with its belly (stomach) facing up this idiom has been originated. Like a dead fish or a dead animal in water, floating upside down. The same term can be used for financial failures, like a store that goes out of business due to poor sales or a company that makes bad investments and has to fold. People use the term for other sorts of failures too.

Link to this page:

Share your thoughts