a black ball bearing the number eight.
a game in which one player or side must pocket all of either the solid-color balls or the striped ones before being permitted to attempt the pocketing of the eightball, which wins.
Slang. an inept person.
behind the eightball, Informal. in a difficult, disadvantageous, or uncomfortable situation:
He hasn’t studied all term, and now he’s behind the eightball.
A black person (1919+)
A chronically unfortunate and ineffective person; loser, sad sack (1940s+)
square (1950s+ Jive talk)
In trouble or an awkward position, out of luck, as in His check bounced, leaving Jim behind the eight ball with his landlord. The term comes from pocket billiards or pool, where in certain games if the number eight ball is between the “cue ball” and “object ball” the player cannot make a straight shot. [ ; c. 1920 ]
- Behind the scenes
happening or conducted out of view of the general public: The behind-the-scenes preparations made the convention a huge success. held or kept privately by or among a few key or influential persons: behind-the-scenes negotiations. occurring backstage: the behind-the-scenes activities of the stage crew. the place where some action or event occurs: He returned to the […]
- Behind the times
the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another. duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity; finite duration. (sometimes initial capital letter) […]
- Behind time
see under behind in Historical Examples A Roman Singer F. Marion Crawford Floyd Grandon’s Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas English: Composition and Literature W. F. (William Franklin) Webster A Modern Mercenary Kate Prichard and Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard Other People’s Money Emile Gaboriau Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XII, Jan. […]
- Behind you!